Tapas Off the Beaten Track: Fresh Peas with Pearl Onions and Botifarra

This is originally a recipe from Puglia which I found in Rick Stein’s inspirational „Mediterranean Escapes“, the first cookbook present I ever gave to Cyrus (with many more to follow). I like it much better though with the Spanish twist coming from the use of Spanish sausage. Botifarra made from Iberian pork seems best suited to me – it is less strongly seasoned and hence less dominant than chorizo but offers a unique flavour which compliments the fresh peas and the butter-soft pearl onions wonderfully.



Ingredients (for 2 tapas portions):

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil for frying
  • 8 to 10 pearl onions, peeled
  • 400 to 500 grams of fresh unshelled peas
  • 1 garlic clove (whole), peeled
  • 2 small fresh Iberian pork botifarra (butifarra, aka llonganissa) sausages (a type of fresh Spanish sausage from the Catalan region, alternatively salsiccia)
  • freshly ground black pepper, sea salt
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped



  1. Heat up the olive oil in a small frying pan to medium heat. Add the onions and fry until lightly golden on all sides.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover and let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes until very tender. Check occasionally that the water has not evaporated completely.
  3. Shell the peas and wash them.
  4. Chop the sausages into ca. 1 cm thick pieces.
  5. Increase the temperature to medium heat again and add the garlic clove and the sausage. With lid removed, cook for ca. 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add the peas and season with plenty of black pepper and ca. 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Cover and let (just) simmer on low to medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on whether you like your peas with a bit of a bite or more tender).
  7. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!


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