Pasta e Piselli is a classic Italian dish that combines two ingredients - pasta and peas. The sweetness of peas combined with pasta and cheese creates an amazing flavor balance that will melt in your mouth. With only 15 minutes of cooking time, this easy pasta recipe is the perfect go-to comfort food!
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💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy to make. Save yourself a trip to the grocery store, Pasta e Piselli is an easy dish that requires only minimal ingredients. This simple recipe is super quick and easy to make and is a great option for busy weeknights (just like this cacio e pepe, penne pomodoro and rigatoni arabbiatta)
- Deliciously comforting. There's something innately soothing about a plate of steaming hot pasta and peas that never fails to satisfy. With its creamy texture and savory flavor, Pasta e Piselli is the perfect comfort dish!
- Healthy and nutritious. Peas are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can boost your health, making this beloved one-pot meal a great choice for a wholesome and balanced meal.
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make Pasta e Piselli, you'll need extra-virgin olive oil, a shallot, fresh or frozen green peas or sweet peas, ditalini pasta or another small pasta, grated pecorino romano cheese, a handful of fresh mint, and salt and pepper.
Notes and Variations
- Vegan variation. To ensure this pasta dish is suitable for vegans, simply substitute regular cheese with vegan parmesan or any other kind of dairy-free cheese.
- Peas. While the quality of fresh peas can't be beaten, you can definitely use canned peas or frozen peas for convenience.
- Pasta. The classic pasta type to use in this recipe is short-cut options like ditalini, fusilli, or penne. However, if you prefer a more traditional look and feel, consider using spaghetti or linguine.
- Pecorino cheese. If you're out of pecorino romano, there's no need to fret! Simply use grated parmesan cheese or if you're feeling fancy, you can also use Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Consistency. Some consider this dish a cross between Italian pasta and a hearty soup. So if you prefer a soupier consistency, you can add more water or vegetable stock.
- Add broth. Instead of water, try using vegetable broth. Broth can help bring all the flavors together and create a creamy sauce. Make sure to add enough broth, and simmer the pasta and peas in the broth until the pasta is al dente and the sauce has thickened.
📖 Step-by-step instructions
Begin by heating the olive oil in a deep, saute pot. Once hot, sauté the shallot for approximately 3-4 minutes, or until it becomes soft.
While the shallot is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and generously add salt. Cook the pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Before draining the pasta, ensure to save about 4 cups of pasta water.
Next, add the peas over the sautéed shallots along with 1 cup of pasta water and simmer for 3 minutes, covered.
Transfer the pasta to the pot and gradually add the reserved pasta water while stirring, until the pasta reaches an al dente texture. This process should take roughly 5 minutes, and you should still have some liquid left in the pan when the pasta is al dente.
Turn off the heat, and add grated Pecorino and mint leaves to the pan. Season to your preference with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve with additional grated cheese on top.
👩🏽🍳Top tips for making the best pasta e piselli
To make sure your Pasta e Piselli is the best, keep these essential pointers in mind:
- Use high-quality ingredients. This dish is simple, so the quality of your ingredients really matters. Use fresh ingredients, the best quality extra virgin olive oil, and good-quality pasta.
- Use the right pasta. This dish is traditionally made with a type of small pasta like ditalini or small shells. These shapes are perfect for holding onto the sauce and peas.
- Be generous with the olive oil. Don't be afraid to put a bit more olive oil as it adds a rich and complex flavor profile to your pasta dish.
- Cook the peas properly. Boil them in salted water until they are tender but not mushy. This will help to retain their sweetness and texture.
- Don't overcook. Peas and pasta cook very easily and you wouldn't want to overcook them as they will be too mushy.
The most commonly used pasta for Pasta e Piselli is short pasta such as ditalini, fusilli, or penne. However, some recipes may use long pasta such as spaghetti or linguine.
No, it doesn't have any cream in it. Pasta e Piselli is a traditional Italian dish that consists of pasta and peas cooked together with garlic, olive oil, and Pecorino or Parmesan cheese for a savory flavor. If you want to add a creamier texture to the dish, you could try adding some butter or ricotta cheese.
A spoonful of pasta and a glass of wine can be the best way to end your day. Transforming the meal into something extraordinary is only possible when you add a delightful slice of freshly-baked bread to dip in the delectable sauce that's coating your noodles.
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
Serve: Pasta e Piselli makes a great weeknight meal on its own or as a hearty side dish to your choice of protein. Any crusty bread, a light salad, or fresh bruschetta makes the perfect pairing for this dish. Don't forget to add your favorite wine!
Store: You can store the leftover pasta in the fridge for up to 5 days. To ensure that the pasta and peas stay fresh, I recommend transferring the dish to an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator. However, keep in mind that it's not a good idea to freeze this pasta dish, as this can affect the texture and make it less enjoyable.
Reheat: When it comes time to reheat the leftovers, you can use either the microwave or the stovetop. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure to heat the pasta thoroughly before serving.
If you're looking to explore other delicious pasta dishes beyond the classic Pasta e Piselli, look no further than these incredible recipes below:
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Pasta e Piselli
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 pound fresh or frozen peas
- 11 ounce ditalini, or another small pasta
- 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
- handful fresh mint, to taste, chopped
- salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- Begin by heating the olive oil in a deep, saute pot. Once hot, sauté the shallot for approximately 3-4 minutes, or until it becomes soft.
- While the shallot is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and generously add salt. Cook the pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Before draining the pasta, ensure to save about 4 cups of pasta water.
- Next, add the peas over the sautéed shallots along with 1 cup of pasta water and simmer for 3 minutes, covered.
- Transfer the pasta to the pot and gradually add the reserved pasta water while stirring, until the pasta reaches an al dente texture. This process should take roughly 5 minutes, and you should still have some liquid left in the pan when the pasta is al dente.
- Turn off the heat, and add grated Pecorino and mint leaves to the pan. Season to your preference with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve with additional grated Pecorino on top.
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