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    Pasta e Piselli

    This Pasta e Piselli recipe is perfect for those last minute weeknight dinners, when I 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 I can have on the table in about 25 minutes.

    This Pasta e Piselli is a light and simple Neapolitan pea pasta that makes for a great easy weeknight dinner.

    I love my Bolognese, but sometimes 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 example of how you don’t need a long list of ingredients, or too much work in the kitchen, to put a great dinner on the table.

    This Pasta e Piselli is a light and simple Neapolitan pea pasta that makes for a great easy weeknight dinner.

    Ingredient Needed

    • Pasta – I like any small shape like shells, ditalini, macaroni, penne, fusilli, or farfalle in this dish.
    • Diced Pancetta – If I can’t find pancetta, bacon or ham does the job. I skip it for a veggie version.
    • Shallot – If unavailable, a small onion can be used instead.
    • Garlic – Freshly chopped garlic. Always a must.
    • Frozen Peas – Frozen peas make this dish so easy. Fresh peas can be used when in season.
    • Chicken Stock – I prefer chicken stock, but veggie stock works for a vegetarian version.
    • Red Chili Flakes – Just a pinch for some heat. I adjust to taste.
    • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly shredded, please. Can be substituted with pecorino romano.
    • Fresh Parsley – Other herbs like basil or thyme could also work.
    • Butter – This really gives the sauce a boost. I use salted, but feel free to use salted if your prefer.
    • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste.

    Easy Pasta and Peas Recipe

    1. Cook the pasta: I fill up a big pot or my dutch oven with water and add some salt. Once it’s boiling, I toss in the pasta and cook it until it’s al dente. Before draining the pasta, I scoop out about 1 cup of the pasta water and set it aside. After draining the pasta, I let it sit in the colander while I get everything else ready.

    draining the pasta

    2. Create the sauce: I use the same pan and add the diced pancetta. I cook it until it starts to get crispy, which usually takes about 4-5 minutes. Then, I toss in the shallot and garlic and cook for another minute. After that, I add the peas, chicken broth, and a pinch of red chili flakes. I bring everything to a simmer and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

    simmering the peas

    3. Finish the dish: I put the pasta back into the pan along with the parmesan, parsley, and butter. Then, I cook it all together, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted and everything is mixed well. After that, I give it a taste and add salt and pepper if needed. If I want it a little saucier, I add in some of the reserved pasta water.

    final product

    Serving Suggestions

    I 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.

    A fresh salad on the side is also nice. My Caesar Salad, Greek Salad, Wedge Salad and Tomato Cucumber Pesto Salad go great here.

    As with any pasta, a glass of your favorite wine can’t hurt. 😉

    Recipe Tips

    • Pasta cooking: When I cook the pasta, I make sure to cook it to al dente according to the package instructions, knowing it’ll keep cooking in the sauce later. And I always reserve some pasta water because it helps me adjust the sauce’s consistency perfectly.
    • Control the oil: If I’m using bacon instead of pancetta, I drain some of the fat before sautéing the aromatics. And if I’m using ham or skipping the meat altogether, I’ll use about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
    • Grate the cheese: When it comes to cheese, I always grate it fresh. The pre-shredded kind from the store has additives that stop it from melting properly. Freshly grated cheese makes all the difference in the sauce!
    This Pasta e Piselli is a light and simple Neapolitan pea pasta that makes for a great easy weeknight dinner.

    More 30-Minute Pasta Recipes

    Pasta Puttanesca
    Fettuccine Alfredo
    Pesto Pasta
    Taco Pasta
    Shrimp Primavera
    Gigi Hadid Pasta
    Salmon Pasta
    Rasta Pasta

    This Pasta e Piselli is a light and simple Neapolitan pea pasta that makes for a great easy weeknight dinner.

    Easy. Economical. And oh so good. That’s my 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!

    bowlful of pasta e piselli atop the Gypsy Plate
    featured image for pasta e piselli recipe

    Pasta e Piselli (Pasta and Peas)

    Yield: 4-6 servings
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 25 minutes

    This Pasta e Piselli is a light and simple Neapolitan pea pasta that makes for a great easy weeknight dinner.


    • 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
    • ¼ tsp red chili flakes
    • 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
    • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp butter
    • salt, to taste
    • pepper, to taste


    1. 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. In the same pan, add the diced pancetta and cook until it begins to crisp up, about 4-5 minutes.
    3. Add shallot and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
    4. Add peas, chicken broth and red chili flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
    5. Return the pasta to the pan along with parmesan, parsley and butter. Cook, continuously stirring, until cheese is melted and everything is well combined.
    6. Taste and season for salt and pepper. If desired, you can add in some of the reserved pasta water for a saucier consistency.
    7. Serve immediately.


    1. Use any of your favorite small pasta shapes like shells, ditalini, macaroni or bowtie.
    2. Can be substituted with bacon or ham, or omitted altogether. If using ham or going meatless, use 2 Tbsp olive oil for sautéing.
    3. Leftovers: 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.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 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.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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