Ready in less than 30 minutes, Pasta e Piselli (Italian Pasta and Peas) is a simple yet delicious pasta recipe. Comforting on a cold winter day and spring-like with fresh or frozen peas in season, this creamy pasta with peas will win over your heart over once you try it!
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You may be wondering, what is piselli? Peas….and a lot of them cooked in this easy pasta recipe that both adults and kids will love!
Pasta e piselli is a cross between a hearty soup and a typical pasta dish. This easy pasta recipe is a family favorite and we’ve adapted it to make it quick and easy to pull together on a busy weeknight when every one is coming and going.
If you love pasta dishes, my Tagliatelle ai funghi is another must-try family favorite that is on regular rotation. Creamy mushroom pasta is a comforting meal that comes together in 30 minutes or less. This four cheese pasta is another weeknight favorite recipe. It’s a delicious Cheesecake Factory copycat recipe.
How does pasta with peas taste?
A comforting, Italian-inspired meal, Pasta e Piselli (Pasta & Peas) will leave you feeling satisfied and looking forward to any leftovers the next day. At first glance, it may be hard to imagine such simple ingredients could be so magically delicious!
Pasta e piselli features onions and shallots, but no garlic. The green peas nestle in the crevices of the pasta, giving you the perfect pasta-to-pea ratio in every bite! The peas also add a sweetness to the otherwise savory dish.
Pasta and peas is sometimes made to be more ‘soupy’ by adding the starchy water from the cooked pasta to the mixture. The amount of pasta water that is added to the pasta dish is a personal preference.
Grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little salt & pepper to taste completes this ultimate comfort food dinner.
I like to fiddle with recipes and this one is no different. We have found a happy-medium in our family to enjoy pasta with peas with just enough broth that you need to eat it with a spoon.
Ingredients & Substitutions – What goes into pasta & peas?
This recipe uses simple, fresh ingredients that you can easily find in the grocery store. I’ve listed them below, along with some simple substitutions.
- Ditalini pasta – to substitute, you can use any type of small pasta, such as small shells. Ditalini is a tubular pasta and the small peas slide into the pasta crevices which is perfect, so keep that in mind as you choose your type of small pasta shape substitute.
- Olive Oil – use high quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Shallot – we’ve added a shallot for its sweet flavor and it was a good choice!
- Onions – cooking onions or sweet Vidalia onions are great choices.
- Peas – I often use frozen baby peas in this recipe because they are always readily available. If fresh sweet peas are in season, they would be delicious. In a pinch, you could substitute canned peas, but keep in mind that they can tend to easily get mushy.
- Parmesan Cheese – I usually use Parmagiano Reggiano, or you can substitute Pecorino Romano grated cheese.
- Fresh parsley – you can use curly parsley or flat-leaf Italian parsley.
- Salt & Black Pepper (to season) – this pasta e piselli will need to be tasted before seasoning. The Parmesan cheese can add a salty taste and personal preferences will dictate how much to add.
Step by Step Intructions – How to make Pasta e Piselli
We chose to make this beloved one-pot meal in two pots by pre-cooking the pasta separately. Super quick and easy and I think you’re going to love it!
Tip: Before you begin, place a measuring cup and soup ladle within reach of the stove as a reminder that you will need to save 3 cups of pasta water.
Step 1 – Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. The pasta will continue cooking when you add it to the peas and onion mixture, so ensure that it is al dente and be careful not to overcook.
Step 2 – Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet, large saucepan or Dutch oven. Sauté the chopped shallot and onions over medium heat until softened, about four to five minutes.
Tip: Don’t brown the onion and shallot, you just want to soften it.
Step 3 – Add the peas to the onion mixture, along with 2 cups of the reserved pasta water and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until peas are tender.
Tip: If you accidently toss the pasta water, don’t fret, I’ve done it before! You can substitute vegetable or chicken broth. You can also boil a small amount of any type of pasta noodles and save the water!
Step 4 – Gently stir the al dente cooked pasta into the mixture. If you would like a more soupy consistency, add in more of the reserved pasta water. Simmer gently for another 3 minutes.
Step 5 – Stir in 1 cup of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Taste, then season with salt & black pepper.
Can I freeze pasta & peas?
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat leftovers on the stovetop by adding a splash of water and cooking over low heat until heated through. The easiest way to reheat pasta and peas it to reheat it in the microwave, thirty seconds at a time until heated through.
You ‘can’ freeze pasta and peas in an airtight container for up to two months in the freezer, but the peas can be a little mushy when you thaw and reheat.
This green pea pasta lends itself to a few tasty variations. Please drop me a comment and let me know how you like to enjoy your pasta e piselli !!
Add some ham, bacon or prosciutto – Add 4 slices of cooked, chopped bacon for pasta and peas with bacon. Alternatively, you could add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chopped cooked ham for ham & pea pasta. Lastly, add prosciutto (Italian bacon) to enjoy pasta with prosciutto and peas. Use a small dice when chopping ham or bacon.
Change up the pasta – typically made with small pasta, you can switch it up and make spaghetti with peas.
Sprinkle of fresh herbs for flavoring– if you have fresh mint on hand, cut the lower portion of the stem and snip off the fresh mint using clean kitchen scissors for pea and mint pasta. Fresh basil is equally delicious or you can spice it up a little by adding some red pepper flakes.
Toss in some tomatoes – Add one can (28 ounces) canned crushed tomatoes, or fresh garden tomatoes when you add the peas for pasta and peas with tomatoes.
If you’re looking for a tasty dessert treat after you’ve enjoyed your pasta dinner, try my Italian Ricotta Cookies and these Lemon Ricotta Cookies with a cup of coffee. Looking for a more traditional dessert? Who could resist homemade cannoli and tiramisu?!
More pasta recipes to enjoy!
If you made this recipe, I would love to hear about how you enjoyed the recipe! Please drop a comment below with a 5-star rating and tag me @shesnotcookin on social media with your photos!Print