Quick Traditional Pasta e piselli

I must say I’ve never tried Pasta e piselli in Italy, and for a reason ; this is a recipe I discovered on an Italian Recipes page, with many natives sharing their childhood favourites.

You don’t get served pasta e piselli in restaurants ; your Nonna made it for you, if you were a lucky Italian child. It’s one of those dishes that comes together in minutes and requires mainly pantry items that you have on hand.

Basically, 4 ingredients are required : pasta, peas, onions, and Parmigiano. You can add or remove mint, or replace it with basil. You can add tomato sauce, or even pancetta, which is often the case in Neapolitan Pasta e piselli, for example ; every family has its own, proud recipe.

I kept it simple in this beautiful vegetarian recipe. The flavours are mild, but bright and fresh, and a satisfactory depth of flavour is added thanks to the Parmiagiano. The tiny-pasta-in-creamy-broth characteristic makes the dish so comforting, one you’d eat when you have a cold or feel blue.    

Quick Traditional Pasta e piselli – Recipe

Ingredients – Advice & key points

I usually go to Eataly to get the produce I need. If you don’t have one near your location, you can find fresh produce like parmigiano at your local Italian deli, maybe even your pasta. For pasta, if not available there, you should be able to order it online quite easily.

  • Pasta :
    • Try to find tubetti or ditalini pasta if you can, which are cut in short tubes.
    • Don’t worry if you can’t find it, as any short pasta will do.
  • Peas :
    • Do not use canned peas ! They are too fragile and will turn mushy, which is not what you want.
  • Feel free to :
    • Replace mint with basil or remove it altogether ;
    • Add diced pancetta if you wish (~200g for 5 servings), right before you put your onions in, and let it color a few minutes ;
    • Add tomato purée (~150g for 5 servings), by the end of you onions cooking time, and simmer 10 minutes before following through.

Cooking your pasta

  • Pasta :
    • This is one of the very, very few authentic “one pot” pasta dishes ! Yes, everything cooks quickly plus there’s almost no dishes to wash. Dream life.
    • Don’t forget to stir often once you add your pasta, like you would a risotto ; else it will stick to the bottom of the pot.
    • You can start tasting 2 minutes before the theoretical end time, so that you get perfect al dente pasta.

Now come and cook !

Quick Traditional Pasta e piselli

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 7 min Cook Time 18 min Total Time 25 mins
Servings: 5
Best Season: Spring


25mn authentic Italian pasta ! Simple, mild and fresh flavours, with the classic peas & mint pairing. Add an onion, and the ever-important Parmigiano for the lasting umami taste : there you go ! Sexy, and veggie !  



  1. Prep your ingredients

    Dice your onion quite thinly. 

    Grate your parmigiano.

  2. Let's cook !

    Add your olive oil to your pan.

    Bring it to medium heat, then add your onion with 1/3 of the  salt amount. Let it cook for 3 minutes without coloring.

    Add your peas, then your water and your remaining salt. Cook for 4 minutes. Here, you can mash some of the peas (no more than 1/4) to contribute to the starchy sauce. 

    Add your pasta and your mint. Let it cook for around 9 minutes (see package instructions), stirring often. Add some water if needed. 

    When the time's up, your pasta shouldn't be dry but quite soupy, but not watery, coated in a light cream thanks to the pasta starch. Turn off the heat. Add your Parmigiano, and black pepper to taste. 

    Et voilà !! You're done ! 

    Don't forget to stir often, else the pasta will stick to the bottom of the pot !
Keywords: home made, pasta, peas, parmigiano, comforting, umami

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *