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This Italian pasta with peas is a simple, creamy, and delicious one-pot dinner recipe that uses minimal ingredients.
It makes a perfect weeknight meal, it’s ready in 15 minutes and 1 serving costs less than $0.80. What’s not to love?
It requires only 5 ingredients and you can use either fresh or convenient frozen peas, whatever makes your life easier. It’s a no brainer!
Once you sauté the onion in olive oil, you just add the peas, the vegetable broth or water, and bring to a boil. Then add pasta and cook gently in the starchy water. Then add freshly grated cheese, give a good stir and you’ll see how the starch and the melted cheese will cover every bit of pasta nicely!
So if you want a delicious pasta dish ready in no time, this quick Italian recipe is for you!
What ingredients you need
- Frozen or fresh peas
- Short cut pasta
- Cheese (Parmesan or Grana Padano)
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
How to make it
- Flavor base: saute’ diced onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes
- Stir in peas
- Add vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a boil
- Cook it the Italian way: stir in pasta, salt, and cook gently
- Pasta will gradually absorb the water and release starch
- Stir often, adding a little water when needed
- When ready, add grated parmesan cheese and give a good stir
- Look below how the starch and the cheese make your pasta nice and glossy!
- Serve with freshly ground black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and extra parmesan cheese if you like.
(see the recipe card below)
RECIPE NOTES & FAQ
This humble and comforting pasta with peas is so popular in Italy, and it’s one of my favorite childhood dishes.
Plus, it’s quick, cheap, and tastes delicious.
ARE PEAS GOOD FOR YOU?
Yes, peas are low-fat legume naturally high in protein and fiber which makes you feel full for longer. Also, peas are a good source of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
ARE FROZEN PEAS HEALTHY?
Nutritionally, frozen peas are just as good as fresh. Since the freezing process helps to preserve their nutritional value, frozen peas are on calories but packed with vitamins, protein, and antioxidants as their fresh counterpart
I usually go for frozen peas, they’re so handy all year round and save me time!
COOK IT SLOWLY
You’ll want to cook this pasta and peas on low heat. It’s slow cooking, the liquid is minimized and is added gradually to the pasta, which absorbs it completely and releases its starch. And the more starch, the better!
You need to stir often until the water is absorbed, otherwise, it will stick to the bottom. But you’ll be rewarded with a delicious pot of creamy and glossy pasta.
PASTA WITH PEAS VARIATIONS
The addition of diced ham, bacon or pancetta is very popular for this simple pasta with peas.
If you fancy a not vegetarian option, pick one of these types of meats and add it to the pot at the same time you add the diced onion. Approximatively 1/3 cup of diced meat is enough for the amount of pasta stated in the recipe.
This is a simple step and it will bring a ton of extra flavor to the dish.
HOW LONG DOES IT KEEP?
If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the fridge in a tight lid container for 2 days.
To reheat, add up a few Tbsps of water, stir well, and warm over medium-low heat.
MORE QUICK PASTA RECIPES?
- Pasta e ceci (pasta with chickpeas)
- Potato pasta
- 10-minute cream cheese pasta
- 15-minute garlic mushroom pasta
- Broccoli pasta with breadcrumbs
And if you make this easy pasta with peas or you have a question, let me know!
Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!
Pasta with peas
- 1 lb (450 grams) Peas, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 lb (220 grams Short shaped pasta (shells, elbows, ditaloni...)
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) grated parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
- 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable broth or water, plus more if needed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the peas and cook stirring frequently about 1 minute.
- Then add vegetable broth (or water), raise the heat, bring to a boil and stir in pasta and salt (I use 1 tsp of salt and then I adjust the seasoning at the end).
- Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and cook your pasta in the starchy water. During the cooking time, you need to stir often until the water is absorbed, otherwise, it will stick to the bottom. The water should barely cover the pasta, but it's fine, add extra water gradually only if needed.
- Cook until ready but firm to the bite. Turn off the heat and stir in freshly grated parmesan cheese until melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper, and extra parmesan cheese if you like. Enjoy!
In this method, the liquid is minimized and is added gradually to the pasta, which absorbs it completely and releases its starch. Parmesan cheese: use freshly grated parmesan cheese that melts well and tastes much better than store-bought grated cheese. NOTE: the nutrition values are estimates only and are intended for information and guidance purposes only.