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A close up of peas and pancetta in an oval serving dish on a wooden surface
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Peas and Pancetta

Peas and Pancetta is the simplest Italian side dish yet it's packed full of delicious flavours from the salty cured pancetta, sweet peas, garlic and fresh parsley. Serve this easy side with almost any main dish or with an Italian roast dinner.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 231kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 3 cups frozen peas (460g)
  • 1 cup pancetta (125g)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (as needed)
  • salt and pepper to season


  • Add the pancetta to a hot pan and fry until crispy (if your pancetta isn’t fatty enough you might need to add 1 tablespoon of olive oil).
  • Once crispy, remove from the pan and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil if needed and fry the chopped onion for a few minutes until soft and translucent.
  • Once soft, add the sliced garlic and fry for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Next, add the frozen peas straight to the pan and cook until defrosted and hot all the way through, stirring often. This should only take a few minutes.
  • Once cooked, turn off the heat and stir through the cooked crispy pancetta and fresh parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed (some pancetta can be really salty so you may not need additional salt). Serve.



  • Peas cook fast - don't overcook the peas so they shrivel up and lose their colour. Make sure they are just cooked (taste one to check) and remove from the heat.
  • Olive oil - you may or may not need olive oil depending on how fatty your pancetta is. You can use the pancetta fat to fry the onion and garlic if there is enough.
  • Adding salt - pancetta can be very salty so taste the peas at the end of cooking and add salt as needed.
  • Fresh vs frozen peas - for convenience we use frozen peas (it also means you can make this recipe all year long) which have excess moisture in them so no liquid is needed. If you use fresh peas you will need to cover them with liquid (water, wine or stock) to cook them.
  • Storage and freezing - leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days and can be reheated. You can also freeze them in suitable containers.


Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 584IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg