Victor Albisu learned about live-fire cooking by watching the Argentinean and Uruguayan butchers that worked at his mother's market, Plaza Latina, in Falls Church, Virginia. At Del Campo, Albisu's newly opened restaurant in Washington, D.C., the majority of the items on the meat-centric menu are either grilled or skillet-charred, a gentle nod to his early kitchen days. This versatile one-skillet dish highlights charred spring peas, combined with generous pieces of crisped mortadella and burnt ricotta salata. Albisu's inspired take on ham and peas is finished with a bright kick of lemon zest and garlic.
Charred Peas, Mortadella and Burnt Ricotta
Recipe adapted from Victor Albisu, Del Campo, Washington, D.C.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes
4-ounce piece of mortadella, cut into ¾-inch cubes
4 ounces ricotta salata, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 cups fresh shelled peas (or 2 cups frozen peas)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 medium garlic cloves, very finely chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until the skillet starts to smoke, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mortadella and stir occasionally. Once it starts to render its fat, after about 3 minutes, add the ricotta salata. Once the cheese begins to blacken around the edges, after about 3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a large plate.
2. To the same skillet used for the mortadella and ricotta salata, add the peas. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the peas are blistered and charred, about 5 minutes. Drizzle the olive oil over the peas and return the mortadella and ricotta salata to the skillet along with the lemon zest, parsley and garlic. Season with the salt and pepper, divide among 4 plates and serve.