There’s a particular kind of Italian recipe that I love, where there are hardly any ingredients and it’s all so aggressively simple that it feels like it almost shouldn’t work, but it’s done so well that it’s far preferable to anything more fussy. This is one such recipe. It’s based on something I found many years ago in Cuisine magazine, and it’s really just tomatoes and peas, that’s all, despite the fancy-sounding title.
Because it’s February, tomatoes should still be sweetly bursting with summer flavour, and so I recommend using fresh cherry tomatoes if you’re able. If they’re not available, or if you want to make this at any other time of year, canned cherry tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes are a fine substitute.
This is so easy and one of those recipes you can make when it feels like you have nothing in the cupboard. In terms of what to do once you’ve made it, the ragù is perfect stirred through freshly cooked pasta, or better yet, used to top a pile of buttery, creamy, soft polenta, a substance I cannot get enough of.
Ragù di piselli
- 75g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 100ml white wine
- 300g frozen peas
- 2 × 250g punnets of cherry tomatoes, or two 400g cans of cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup tomato passata
- Handful of freshly grated Parmesan, to serve
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Melt half the butter with the olive oil in a large saucepan.
- Gently fry the chopped onion until translucent, then pour in the wine and allow it to fizz up and evaporate slightly.
- Tip in the peas and tomatoes.
- Add the tomato passata and simmer for around 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir regularly, handling it gently so as to not crush the tomatoes too much.
- Add the remaining butter, stir until it melts, then remove from the heat.
- Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as you see fit.
- Serve on top of soft polenta, stirred through pasta, or however you please, and top with freshly grated Parmesan.