Pasta & Peas
Pasta & peas, or pasta e piselli, is a traditional Italian dish passed down from Nonna’s (Grandmothers) all over the world. I have taken this authentic dish and made it slightly more Mediterranean with a small twist. Fresh basil has been replaced with mint for a unique flavor – did I defy tradition or improve a classic? You be the judge!.
The best part about this pasta & peas recipe is how simple it is. You literally mix conchiglie pasta, fresh peas, pecorino cheese and onions for a creamy, delicious dish- that’s it! This pasta recipe can feed so many people, plus it’s affordable and ready in ten minutes. Would your Nonna approve?
800g/28oz fresh snow peas or 300g/10.5oz frozen peas
300g/10.5oz small conchiglie (shell) pasta
½ brown onion (chopped)
3 Tbsp pecorino Romano cheese
Bunch of fresh mint leaves
Salt & pepper
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 Tbsp rock salt (to flavor pasta water)
1 large frypan
1 wooden spoon
1 large pot (for boiling the pasta)
1 ladle (to add pasta water to frypan)
- Pasta and peas is a classic Italian dish and true Italian cooking thanks to its simplicity. Let’s start with the star of this dish, the peas! Peel the pods of the peas one by one and pile them into a large bowl.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: You can use frozen peas for an even faster pasta and peas recipe. Keep the pasta amount equal to the peas when doing this.
- After prepping the peas, finely chop ½ brown onion and put it to the side.
- Heat a large frypan to medium-low heat, add in 4 tablespoons of EVOO and once this has warmed up add your chopped onion.
- Sauté the onion for five minutes or until it is soft and golden brown.
- Add the peas into the pan with the onions and oil then stir for approx. six minutes, mixing well.
- Add 5L of water to a large pot and add 1 tablespoon of rock salt once the water boils.
- Boil the pasta for ½ the time listed on the packet instructions (you will continue to cook it in the pan); it took six minutes for my pasta. Give the pasta a quick stir, so it doesn’t stick together
- While the pasta is boiling, keep stirring the peas then pull the mint leaves off the stems and add them directly to the pan before stirring them through.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Don’t forget to save some fresh mint to garnish your pasta and peas dish.
- Collect some pasta water and put it to the side then strain your pasta and add it to the saucepan with the peas and add a few scoops of pasta water until the pasta is half covered.
- Next, to make the creamy pea sauce, stir the pasta & peas in the pan continuously for six minutes. The starch from the pasta water makes this sauce creamy, without using any cream (of course).
- Once the pasta is cooked, add a sprinkle of pecorino cheese and more fresh mint. Then toss the pasta to create an even creamier sauce.
How To Serve:
Add a few generous spoonful’s of pasta and peas onto your plate. As you’re serving this dish, you’ll feel hypnotized by the fresh, herby mint aroma. Add a sprig of fresh mint to the plate, and it’s ready to eat. You can always add some freshly ground black pepper or chilli flakes on top for an extra kick.
Feel free to add more pecorino Romano or freshly grated parmesan cheese before serving if you’re a cheese lover. Yum!
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!
Here are 2 more Pasta recipes you MUST try:
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