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pasta e piselli in gray bowl

Pasta e Piselli

  • Author: Tara Smithson
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This Pasta e Piselli Recipe is a classic and simple recipe that I've made a bit more modern & added a little more flavor! Pasta and Peas come together for a quick lunch or dinner in less than 30 minutes and they are so yummy.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups ditalini noodles, measured dry
  • 1 cup of reserved pasta water
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced fine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 and 1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (plus additional if you want it more soup like)
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, shredded fine
  • 3/4 cup pecorino romano, shredded fine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes and additional parmesan cheese for topping.


  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot for the pasta. 
  2. While the pasta water is coming to a boil, place a deep skillet or dutch oven on the stovetop over medium low heat. Add in the olive oil and heat for 1 minute. Pour in the onions and sprinkle with salt. 
  3. Step 3 and Step 4 should be happening at the same time! Add the ditalini and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until they are somewhat cooked, but not quite to al dente yet. *Leave the pasta water on the stovetop. Do NOT dump out the pasta water.* 
  4. The onions will cook low and slow while the pasta is boiling. Stir every few minutes. Note: If the onions start to brown at all, lower heat. 
  5. Once the onions are fully softened, add in the garlic and cook for 60 seconds. 
  6. Place the peas into the skillet and pour in the chicken stock. Stir. 
  7. Using a strainer spoon, directly transfer the cooked ditalini pasta (no pasta water yet) into the skillet or dutch oven.
  8. Add 1/2 cup of pasta water and continue to stir pasta for 5 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup pasta water and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  9. Turn off heat and sprinkle on parmesan cheese and pecorino romano. Use a wooden spoon and stir the cheese in really well to mix with the pasta water. 
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with red pepper flakes and additional cheese, if desired. Serve and enjoy!


It's important to cook the pasta at the same time as cooking the onions. If the onions aren't softened yet once the pasta is ready to come out, transfer the pasta into a bowl until it's time to add them. Don't leave them cooking in the pasta water.

When cooking the onions, you are looking for softened onions with a translucency. If they start to brown at all, reduce the heat.

If most of your pasta water has absorbed at the end of cooking and the cheese doesn't fully dissolve, you can add about 1/4 cup of pasta water slowly until the cheese mixes in.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: italian

Keywords: pasta e piselli, pasta and peas, piselli