Snow pea is a term referring to a variety of pea also called in Italian "mangiatutto" (eat all) as it must be eaten whole. It has a light green pod, flattened and just over a finger wide; inside there are few and small seeds, even flat. The best season of the snow pea is from spring to summer.
Fleshy and sweet taste, snow peas should not be confused with "flat beans", also the category of "mangiatutto", but more narrow and long, which instead are a variety of bean. Traditionally, snow peas are more widespread in Northern Italy and are grown mainly in Lombardy, Marche, and Piedmont, where they are harvested with several repeated passages from April to June.
All the product on the Italian market is national. Although tender, the pods of snow peas have the "thread" to be eliminated along with the ends. The yellowish ones, with enlarged seeds, must be discarded. Snow peas give their best when they are very fresh and should be eaten as soon as possible. After blanching them in water, they are tossed in butter as a side dish or cut into large pieces to add to the sauces that season the pasta.
They are also enjoyed boiled and sautéed in a pan with butter or stewed with oil and tomato.