I would just like to say right off the bat, that normally I don't really eat peas, but this is one of the few ways of preparing them that I do like. Anyway, if you are neutral about peas, this recipe might get you more excited about them.
Now, yes, of course you can sit there and shell peas all day, but you'd better get really fresh-picked ones or they will be all starchy and mealy instead of nice and sweet. What I recommend is that you use a good quality brand of frozen peas (canned are right out).
1 16 ounce bag of organic frozen sweet peas
1 large 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
1/2 a small head of green or red lettuce, roughly chopped
a big handful of Italian parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, each cut in half
1/3 cup olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon of dried dill (you can use fresh if you have it, but use lots more)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon butter
In a medium saucepan, fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat along with the salt and pepper until the onions look soft.
Add the frozen peas and continue to stir for a minute or two.
Add the can of crushed tomatoes, sugar and the dill, then taste for salt and pepper to make sure there's enough. Let it come up to a bubble, then turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Cook for five minutes.
Take the cover off and add the lettuce and parsley and butter. Stir them in, then turn down the heat to a lower simmer and and cook for another five minutes.
Serve the stew with french baguette and cheese, or you can serve over buttered rice or pasta. You can also just puree the whole thing in the food processor and serve it over thick crunchy pieces of buttered toast with fresh parsley and cheese sprinkled on top.