Peas and carrots are an ubiquitous pairing for a good reason but I enjoy combining them in different ways that take people by surprise visually and still deliver the familiar taste they love. This is one of the more unusual preparations, a roasted carrot plank topped with pea pudding and some pancetta for added flavor and texture.
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Place the pancetta in a pot and cook over medium heat until the fat is rendered and it is crispy. Remove the pancetta while leaving some of the fat, reserve the pancetta for garnish. Add the peas, shallots, garlic, and thyme to the pot and cook until the peas have softened.
Add the water and agar to the pot and blend well. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the cream and lime juice then blend to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the pea mixture into a container and let it set completely. Once set, add the mint leaves and puree well with an immersion or standing blender.
Preheat an oven to 232°C (450°F).
Peel the carrots and cut into 38mm (1.5") segments. Square each segment and then cut into 6mm (0.25") planks. Toss the planks in olive oil then salt and pepper them. Place them in a roasting pan and roast for 5 to 10 minutes, until they have just started to brown and soften but the inside is still firm. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Place a carrot plank on a plate and top with a line of the pea pudding. Add a piece or two of pancetta and a mint leaf to the top then serve.