This Pasta e Piselli recipe is perfect for those last minute weeknight dinners, when you want something tasty and comforting, without a lot of hassle.
A simple Neapolitan dish of Pasta and Peas, it’s a light one pot meal that you can have on the table in about 25 minutes.
We love our Bolognese, but sometimes we just want a quick, light and simple pasta night. Our Mediterranean Pasta and Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe are quick pastas that aren’t heavy or saucy.
Today’s piselli pasta is another shining example of how you don’t need a long list of ingredients, or to labor too hard in the kitchen, to put a great dinner on the table.
Why We LOVE this Pasta and Peas Recipe
- Simplicity: It’s a dish that celebrates basic ingredients, turning them into something extraordinary. You don’t need to be a master chef to whip up this Italian classic!
- Flavor: The combination of ingredient creates a harmonious blend of flavors that is comforting, yet complex.
- Versatility: It’s a meal that can be enjoyed all year round, perfect for both weeknight family dinners and special occasions.
- Affordable: Made with easily accessible ingredients, it’s a dish that’s friendly on the wallet but doesn’t compromise on taste.
- Customizable: You can easily adapt this recipe to suit dietary preferences or to utilize whatever ingredients you have on hand. Vegetarian? Leave out the pancetta. Want more heat? Add extra chili flakes!
- Hearty and Comforting: The richness of the parmesan and butter paired with the starchiness of pasta creates a satisfying, soul-warming meal.
- Pasta – Any small pasta shape like shells, ditalini, macaroni, penne, fusilli, or farfalle will work well in this dish.
- Diced Pancetta – This adds a smoky and savory flavor. If unavailable, bacon or ham can be substituted. Omit for a vegetarian version.
- Shallot – Shallots provide a delicate and slightly sweet flavor. If unavailable, a small onion can be used instead.
- Garlic – Freshly chopped garlic. Always a must.
- Frozen Peas – Quick and convenient, frozen peas make this dish so easy. Fresh peas can be used when in season.
- Chicken Stock – Vegetable stock can be used for a vegetarian version.
- Red Chili Flakes – Adds a touch of heat. Adjust according to your heat preference.
- Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese – Brings a rich, salty tang. Freshly shredding ensures a smoother melt. Can be substituted with pecorino romano.
- Fresh Parsley – Chopped fresh parsley adds color and freshness. Other herbs like basil or thyme could also work.
- Butter – Adds richness and helps to create a luscious texture.
- Salt and Pepper: Season to taste.
Easy Pasta and Peas Recipe
1. Cook the pasta: In a large pot or dutch oven, boil pasta in salted water according to package directions to al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining. Drain and leave in colander.
2. Create the sauce: In the same pan, add the diced pancetta and cook until it begins to crisp up, about 4-5 minutes. Add shallot and garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add peas, chicken broth and red chili flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Finish the dish: Return the pasta to the pan along with parmesan, parsley and butter. Cook, continuously stirring, until cheese is melted and everything is well combined. Taste and season for salt and pepper. If desired, you can add in some of the reserved pasta water for a saucier consistency.
What to Serve with Pasta e Piselli
We love the simplicity of this pasta and peas dish, but some great bread is always welcome on pasta nights. We often make our No Knead Bread.
As with any pasta, a glass of your favorite wine can’t hurt. 😉
- Pasta cooking: Cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions, as it will continue to cook in the sauce. Reserving pasta water helps in adjusting the sauce’s consistency.
- Control the oil: If using bacon instead of pancetta, you may want to drain some fat before sautéing the aromatics. If using ham, or leaving out the meat altogether, use 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Sauce consistency: Adjust the sauce with reserved pasta water to reach the desired consistency.
- Grate the cheese: Always use freshly grated cheese. The pre-shredded stuff in stores contains additives that prevent proper melting.
Leftovers and Storage
This pea pasta is great as leftovers for the next few days. Store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days.
Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on stovetop over medium heat, with a splash of water or olive oil if it has dried out.
More 30-Minute Pasta Recipes
Easy. Economical. And oh so good. That’s Pasta e Piselli for you! Give it a try the next time you’re wondering what to cook at the last minute. You just might find a new favorite.
Save or pin this great recipe, so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!
Pasta e Piselli, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 1 pound pasta (see note 1)
- 4oz diced pancetta (see note 2)
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 pound frozen peas
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp butter
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- In a large pot or dutch oven, boil pasta in salted water according to package directions to al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining. Drain and leave in colander.
- In the same pan, add the diced pancetta and cook until it begins to crisp up, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add shallot and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add peas, chicken broth and red chili flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Return the pasta to the pan along with parmesan, parsley and butter. Cook, continuously stirring, until cheese is melted and everything is well combined.
- Taste and season for salt and pepper. If desired, you can add in some of the reserved pasta water for a saucier consistency.
- Serve immediately.
- Use any of your favorite small pasta shapes like shells, ditalini, macaroni or bowtie.
- Can be substituted with bacon or ham, or omitted altogether. If using ham or going meatless, use 2 Tbsp olive oil for sautéing.
- Leftovers are good for 3-4 days, refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave, or on stovetop over medium heat. Add a little water or oil if the dish has dried out.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 390Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 35mgSodium 475mgCarbohydrates 38gFiber 5gSugar 5gProtein 17g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Never miss a recipe!
Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.