Peas with mushrooms and prosciutto is one of my favorite side dishes. I learned to make it from a chef from Rome when I was a line cook at an Italian restaurant. At the restaurant we used it as an all purpose side dish for chicken and other dishes like veal saltimbocca.
You have a few choices for peas. Here I've used English peas, also known as shell peas, or fresh peas. These can be difficult to find if it isn't summertime. If you can find fresh peas this is a special occasion dish.
It's fine to use a bag of frozen peas. Contrary to what some chefs will say, frozen peas are perfectly fine to use. Just think of them as if they're already par-cooked.
I used fresh porcini mushrooms or king boletes here, but you can use whatever you have available. Shiitakes are my first choice for cultivated mushrooms, but you can use diced portobellos, baby bellas or crimini if it's all you can find.
At the restaurant we always added prosciutto to the dish. I used some nice local prosciutto from La Quercia. Any imported Italian prosciutto or serrano ham will work.
If you can't find prosciutto, use pancetta, or just plain old bacon. It will taste good either way. If you end up using pancetta or bacon, make sure to cook it in the pan first until crisp before you add the mushrooms.
We didn't add radishes to the original recipe, but I had some fun rat tail radishes from the farmers market that I knew would be perfect in this. Feel free to skip them.
You can also cook diced breakfast radishes with the onions, or add sliced radishes at the end as a garnish.
Peas With Mushrooms Prosciutto
- 1 large 10 inch skillet
- 1 lb quartered mushrooms you can also use sliced mushrooms
- 3 cups English shell peas or frozen peas
- ½ cup sweet yellow onion diced ¼ inch
- 1 oz prosciutto sliced into ½ inch ribbons *see note
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil or light olive oil
- ½ cup radish snaps optional
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley or fresh mint
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- If using fresh shell peas, bring 2 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the peas for 60 seconds. Remove the peas to a bowl and refresh with cool water. Blanch the radish snaps if using for 60 seconds and add to the peas.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Adjust the skillet heat to high for a minute or two if the mushrooms don't start to take on color.
- Next add the onions, prosciutto, and a tablespoon of butter. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and no longer raw. Add a scant ½ teaspoon salt or start with ¼ teaspoon if your broth is seasoned.
- Add the chicken or vegetable stock and cook until evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Add the peas and radish snaps to the mushrooms and onions and heat through. Add the parsley or mint. Taste a spoon full. Season to taste for salt and pepper if needed until it tastes good to you, then serve.