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Peas are among the oldest existing vegetables, as they have been cultivated massively since the Neolithic era. They require soils particularly rich in phosphorus and potassium, as well as abundant irrigation. The plant is annual; therefore, it follows the sowing-harvesting rhythm rather than a limited seasonality. In Europe, cultivation is mechanised and aimed at the production of frozen peas.

Peas, despite being part of Italian culinary traditions, are undervalued vegetables despite their good properties. They have a lot to offer in terms of nutrition as well as flavour. The reference is to the extraordinary richness of mineral salts. Peas contain high concentrations of iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. They also contain a lot of vitamin A.

The most famous varieties of peas

Having been cultivated for thousands of years, this crop is distinguished by its vast array of varieties. You’ll discover the most well-known types below:

  • Small Provencal. An early variety, it is characterised by very small seeds but a strong flavour.
  • Express. Semi-climbing variety and not very prone to freezing. The medium-sized seeds have remarkable resistance to high temperatures.
  • Rondo. Garden variety suitable for immediate consumption. The seeds are small, but very sweet.
  • Bamby. A climbing variety that is characterised by its large pod and large seeds. This variety is suitable for both freezing and immediate consumption.
  • Swiss giant. It is one of the largest varieties ever. The seeds are very tender and medium-sweet. This type of pea is suitable for freezing and resists high temperatures very well.

And now, let’s cook them!

In general, peas can be used for two different purposes. The first is in the form of a side dish, perhaps with delicate second courses (especially meat). In this case, they are simply boiled or pan-fried and lightly seasoned. The second use is as the main ingredient, perhaps in first courses such as soups and risottos. Very often, peas are used to enrich gravies and sauces, but more rarely for sautés.

I piselli possono essere usati anche per degli spezzatini di carne davvero deliziosi, come lo spezzatino di viletto con i piselli, una ricetta facile che regala i sapori più tradizionali della cucina italiana.

Peas can also be used for truly delicious meat stews, such as viletto stew with peas, an easy recipe that offers the most traditional flavours of Italian cuisine.
However, there is no shortage of slightly more unique uses, such as in salads, savoury pies, or cold pastas. Peas, in any case, can be defined as versatile foods. Below you will find an abundant selection of recipes that enhance peas; you’ve got so many options!

Riso fritto con gamberi

Fried rice with shrimp and basil, a delicious recipe

Which rice should be used? Fried rice with shrimp and basil, like many comparable recipes, depends...