What’s Cooking Wednesday: Pasta with Peas

As you know, we’ve had gorgeous peas from the garden around here lately. One day, we wanted to eat peas but also something a bit more substantial, so P said, “Well can you just put some pasta in with the peas?”

Of course, amore mio, and I came up with this — now one of our favorite meals, especially for lunch in warm weather. It’s so very simple and delicious, and even great cold as a salad IMHO. Feel free to add whatever you like, including pancetta. Yum.

Pasta e Piselli
(Pasta with Peas)
(serves 2)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 250 grams of shelled (or frozen) peas — canned wouldn’t be great in this
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 250 grams of short or even soup pasta like lumachine (similar to elbow macaroni in the US)
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated parmigiano

1. In a medium pan, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat.

2. Add peas and water to pan, and let cook until tender (depends on peas, but can take anywhere from ten minutes and up), adding salt to taste along the way.

3. When the peas are nearing done, put on water for pasta and when it comes to a boil, add salt and prepare pasta.

4. Strain pasta and add to pan with peas and toss together well.

5. Add a drizzle of fresh olive oil and top with lots of freshly grated parmigiano.

Buon appetito!

19 Beans of Wisdom to “What’s Cooking Wednesday: Pasta with Peas”
  1. This sounds (and looks) so good. Next time I go to the farmers’ market I must buy some peas.

    There’s something oddly relaxing to me about shelling peas, too…I hope you enjoy πŸ™‚

    .-= nyc/caribbean ragazza´s last blog ..Nuns, Jesus and mammograms =-.

  2. 05.26.2010

    Oh Michelle, that’s one of my favourites! We do it with smoked pancetta and it is delicious. You’re so right about the short pasta, pastina is best with this, it doesn’t work well with anything else I don’t think. That has just put me in the mood for it now!

    Mangia mangia, Jo πŸ˜€

    .-= jo mcgilp´s last blog ..Sunshine and Barbecues, you just have to, it’s law! =-.

  3. I just made some pasta and peas on Monday but I made it with a creamy sauce. I will be trying this simple recipe next time. And I gotta get some fresh peas. Yum!

    Hope you enjoy it, Michelle! The creamy sauce sounds good too, although this without the cream is *excellent* for the summer πŸ™‚

  4. 05.26.2010

    My Mum makes this all the time, we have it with fresh ricotta through it…yum! So simple yet so yummy.

    I love simple ricotta tossed with pasta…may have throw in peas next time!

  5. 05.26.2010

    I made this Sunday – simple and lets the taste of the fresh, spring peas shine.

    Yes, I love how fresh and light it is πŸ™‚

    .-= Claudia´s last blog ..No-cook appetizers for my spring of amazements =-.

  6. 05.26.2010

    Seems simple enough. My little one will surely enjoy this.

    Perfect kid food! So long as the little one likes peas, of course πŸ˜‰

    .-= jen laceda´s last blog ..World Cup Rates from Design Hotelsβ„’ =-.

  7. 05.26.2010

    It does my heart good to see so many people still cook. Really, truly!

    I’m with you Judith! I’m also happy that at least some people still read blogs and comment too πŸ˜€

  8. 05.26.2010

    I put in cream as well.

    I’m sure it’s lovely! We’re not big on cream here, especially since we often eat pasta at night, and that makes it a bit too heavy. I just love this is as a super light summery dish πŸ™‚

  9. 05.26.2010

    A simple but delicious combination.

    Thanks for stopping in LindyLou πŸ˜€

    .-= LindyLouMac´s last blog ..Five Seconds of Fame =-.

  10. 05.26.2010

    this is one of my favorite dishes…my mom use to make it all the time when I was a little girl.

    Glad to bring back some good memories πŸ™‚

    .-= The Food Hunter´s last blog ..Nordicware Baking Sheet Review, Mostaccioli Cookies, & Giveaway =-.

  11. I love pasta and peas!! It’s actually a dish I grew up on. I’ve never had it “white” though – my family always made it with marinara.

    Here’s the recipe I use (from my mother): http://www.salenalettera.com/2009/02/taking-peas-for-ride-in-cozy-little.html

    I have never used fresh peas but I find that frozen are “fresher” if you will, than canned. And I really like “Italian Mama Chef’s” suggestion to make it creamy. I’ll have to do that next time. Well, the time after I make it your way, that is!


    Oh yes, definitely frozen over canned…frozen are actually really close to fresh-tasting, and the canned, well, they’re just *different.* Excellent point πŸ™‚

  12. 05.27.2010

    Excellent. Making my market list for tomorrow a.m. & peas it is. And though this would be easy to cut in half, I always appreciate a recipe for two…thanks, M.

    Hope you like it!

    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Tales of the Islander =-.

  13. Gil

    My mother used to make peas with shells in a broth. While cooking some of the peas ended up in the shells. This was back in the 50’s and we lived in a new development three or four, maybe five, houses and road wasn’t even paved yet. All of the kids on the street played together and when it was time to eat my mother and one or two of the other mothers just fed who was there. No one got sent home because the family was about to eat. Most of my mother’s meals were more than enough for the family or she just added more ingredients if extra guests showed up. There was a family up the street from us, he was Sicilian and she was Greek and they had two sons around the age of my younger brother and sisters and a baby daughter. One of the sons just loved shell and peas and my mother gave her the recipe. He saw when he first saw her cooking shells and peas he said she was doing it wrong. He told his mother that Mrs. M. put the peas in the shell! He then had his poor mother inserting the peas in the shells – one by one!!!

    Hahaha I *love* it Gil!

  14. 05.27.2010

    Looks scrumptious. I love peas in almost anything.

    I’m with you! They’re such lovely little things πŸ™‚

  15. Prem

    That dish looks sooooo yummy!!!! o m g, i’m literally licking my lips!!
    anyway, to chat more about all things Italian..such as this!! visit my forum at http://bookcibo.ning.com/

    Thanks Prem!

    .-= Prem´s last blog ..BBQ marinades =-.

  16. 05.30.2010

    This looks perfect for this time of year. I love its simplicity, which must make the flavors pop. πŸ˜‰ Yum!

    This is becoming a weekly dish at our house, Chris; hope you like it!

  17. 06.01.2010

    I have something similar with a cream sauce as well, which I like with bowtie pasta. Now I want to try this. YUM.

    Hope you like it, J!

    .-= J´s last blog ..Thank You =-.

  18. 06.08.2010

    grazie mille per questa ricetta, Michelle!

    I made it yesterday and it was delicious! I love the simplicity of it, without the heaviness of a cream sauce. I used frozen peas and gluten-free pasta for my son, and he added tuna to his portion, which also turned out well.

    So happy to hear you and your son enjoyed it Marybeth; I think it would be great with tuna indeed!

  19. Daniel

    Looks wonderful … I’ve never thought of using the shorter pasta before. I have a similar recipe, which I learned it from my professor, who is a milanese. Basically the same recipe, except he sometimes used spaghetti broken in two, and he used a yellow onion instead of a red one. Sometimes he would also add a little tonno packed in oil to the peas and onion about 3 minutes from the end, and in that case he would leave off the parmigiano. I love this as a quick lunch. He used to serve it preceded by a light plate of bresaola with olive oil and black pepper and then a very good coffee made in the moka afterwards.

    Sounds delicious, Daniel! Thanks so much for coming by πŸ™‚

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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