Since we started this section, even in the first conversations about the project, we have always devised the recipes Mariona Planas and I. In fact, she usually suggests ingredients or dishes, and I adapt them according to my style and taste.
Well, this time he told me about a dish that Roser Servia Puig, his mother, and a chef for 35 years in charge of the restaurant «La Menta» in Palamós, she used to cook and usually cooks, and taking advantage of the fact that we are in the middle of the season for peas he felt like basing the post on that recipe.
Mariona explained her mother’s recipe to me. We agreed that I would make the same recipe with the same technique, and that I would give it a fun and original twist afterwards. A new reinterpretation of the dish. We had the surprise at home when we tried the stew by «La Roser», seriously, no matter how much I tell you how amazing it is, you won’t have any idea. I just want to mention that in my life I have never tried a tastier and richer vegetable dish, and that my partner has been given goose bumps (literally speaking) after tasting the first spoonful. Our faces were of surprise and absolute amazement.
The only change in her technique is that I haven’t covered the pot with a plate of water. It is something that you must do if you cook the peas in a clay pot; this stew is made without adding any water or broth into the container you use, and the mixture could be or have porous areas so the dish with water helps to condense the steam and prevents the result from being somewhat dry.
I shan’t go on anymore. Here you have this exclusive wonder of Catalan cuisine thanks to a true pro. Thank you very much, Roser! It’s a real pleasure. Never, ever, ever better said.
Ingredients (for 4 people, if you do not take into account that it is a very moreish dish):
For the «soaked» peas:
– 1 kg of peas. If they are fresh, there would be between 1,700 and 2 kg of pods depending on how full they are. The peas they sell in markets that are already peeled in boxes of less than 200 gr come out at about 30 euros a kg or more, excessive, and exorbitant. It can be made with frozen peas from a good brand, it will not be the same and the taste experience that you will experience is well worth taking some time to peel the peas (I find it enjoyable).
– 4 strips of fresh or cured pancetta (never smoked) about 1/2 cm thick. I have used «guanciale», a bacon from Italy cured in peppers and spices for 3 months, although in our country there are products that are of the same quality.
– 3 spoonfuls of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).
– 1 good-sized salad onion.
– 4 or 5 thick spring onions.
– 1 small glass of white wine
– 1/2 small glasses of dessert wine or dark rum or brandy (I used a sweet sherry).
– 1/2 black sausages cut into very thick slices.
– 10 decent sized mint leaves.
– Salt and pepper.
For the «soaked» peas cannelloni:
– 100 gr aprox. of the previous stew with two slices of black sausage and without any pancetta.
– Around 10 extra-thin slices of cured «guanciale» o pancetta curada for each cannelloni.
– 5 or 6 small fresh mint leaves for each cannelloni.
– Butter for the gratin.
For the «soaked peas by la Roser».
We cut the pancetta in 1 or 2 cm strips and stir fry them in the cooking pot with the oil until they get some colour. We take them off the hob and keep them to one side.
In the same pot we add the julienne-cut onion and spring onions without the green part, removing the first layer of skin, also cutting them in julienne style. We stir fry them over a medium heat until they start to become transparent, making sure they don’t brown. Then we add the saved pancetta and peas, stirring it a few times, and we pour in the white wine gently stirring for a minute to evaporate the alcohol. We add the sweet wine or the chosen liqueur and continue stirring for another minute to reduce the liquid.
We lower the heat (at level 3 of 9 in my case), add the chopped mint (with our fingers rather than with a knife), we stir it for half a minute to allow time for the container to lose heat and for the stew not to stick and we cover the pot. We wait for about 12 minutes uncovering it 2 times just to give the mixture a couple of stirs.
We add the sausage, cover it, leave it for 6 more minutes on a low heat, we take it away from the heat, we serve and enjoy it…
For the pea cannelloni:
On top of a sheet of baking paper or cling film, we place the slices of pancetta as shown in the photo. We put a couple of tablespoons of peas, some discarded black sausage, and the mint leaves on top, and roll it up into a cannelloni.
We steam cook it for 5 minutes.
We place them very carefully (they easily fall apart) on a ceramic plate, we spreak some butter along each cannelloni, and gratinate at 250 ºC for 2 or 2 1/2 minutes.
It’s an original way of presenting a classic dish, and the crispiness adds a very interesting touch.
* When it is cooked only with the vegetable moisture itself (the alcohol basically provides sugars) the resulting flavour is intense, tasty and very surprising. The mint brings freshness and enhances the flavours even more. The word «AMAZING», like that in capital letters, falls short.
**Are you vegan? Swap the meat for an intense seitan or plant-based alternative and add a few drops of soy sauce. For the cannelloni, swap the sausage for pieces of tofu and roll it up on almost transparent slices of courgette.
Photos and recipe: cocinaDsastre.