I know a lot of families out there who don’t mess with Thanksgiving dinner. You have the same things every year, and you love it. Sharing your tried and true favorite dishes with loved ones is part of what makes the holiday so endearing. Our family is not one of those traditionalists. My mom has always spearheaded our Thanksgiving meals. We always have turkey, but she likes to dabble in new dishes each year to keep the rotation interesting. (I think that’s where I inherited my love of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen.) But even she kept some things the same when we were growing up. My brothers always insisted on that 1970’s staple, the jello mold (sometimes with fruit, sometimes without, but always with Cool Whip), and I couldn’t eat my turkey without a side of those Birds Eye frozen peas and onions. It’s funny the things we hold dear sometimes. Since I can no longer find that side dish from my youth, I went on a hunt to find a suitable substitute, and I hit the jackpot with these Peas with Pancetta and Shallots.
I love the splash of color this dish adds to the big swath of beige that usually graces the Thanksgiving sideboard. But the flavors here are what put this over the top. Sweet green peas, savory shallots, crispy pancetta bits and just a pinch of red pepper flakes to keep the whole dish lively. And – double bonus – it’s simple to prep ahead and reheat when it’s time for the big meal. Easy AND tasty wins every time.
So whether you are a Thanksgiving purist or like to shake up your turkey day menu every year, I encourage you to add these Peas with Pancetta and Shallots to your holiday meal. There is always room for one more dish in that massive spread, right? (Especially when it involves pancetta.) Can’t wait to hear what you think!