Italian Pasta and Peas Recipe (Pasta e Piselli) – Recipe for 2

This Italian Pasta and Peas Recipe (pasta e piselli) is quick and easy recipe to make! It’s a delicious recipe made with sweet peas, which add a fresh spring flavor. It’s a healthy, filling dinner that the whole family will love.

pasta and peas on a white plate with a fork

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Don’t you just love one-pot recipes, especially when they are economical? It’s a win all the way around. This pasta e piselli recipe uses simple ingredients and costs about $3.50 per serving to make with whole wheat pasta.

In addition to being economical, you will love the simplicity of this dish! It comes together quickly with just a few ingredients and is packed with flavor. The pasta water is not drained, and the combination of the starch from the pasta water with cheese results in a creamy pasta sauce that brings out the sweetness of the peas, embodying pure Italian comfort food.

Busy weeknights are made for quick and economical pasta dishes, this ground chicken and pasta casserole is another one of our easy meals.

Why you will love pasta and peas

  • This easy pasta recipe is ready in 30 minutes and will please the whole family.
  • Flavor! Pasta and peas are the perfect balance of fresh taste that creates a delicious simple pasta dish.

An overhead view of pasta and peas ingredients

Here is what you will need

This is a brief summary of the ingredients needed to make this easy recipe and a convenient shopping list from my Instacart affiliate link. For a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card section.

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Ingredient List

  • Whole wheat pasta or white pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Yellow Onions
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Frozen peas
  • Water
  • Parmesan cheese or pecorino romano

Here is how to make Italian pasta and peas

Prepare the ingredients: Dice the onions and garlic, and measure the pasta, peas, water, and oil. Shred the cheese. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan or skillet over medium-high heat. This is a recipe for two, and can be easily doubled using the recipe scale in the recipe card.

Process onions and garlic cooking in a skillet

STEP 1: Once the pan is hot, add the diced onion and garlic. IReduce to medium heat and saute the onions with the garlic for a few minutes until they turn soft.

Process Onions and peas cooking in a skillet

STEP 2: Reduce to medium-low heat, and stir in the peas.

Peas and pasta process water being added to peas in skillet

STEP 3: Pour the water into the pan, and stir, cook for a few minutes until the water starts to boil.

Process pasta peas added to skillet

STEP 4: Add the pasta and cook stirring occasionally until the pasta is cooked. You may need to add a little bit of water as the pasta cooks.

an overhead view of pasta and peas in a pan with cheese on top

STEP 5: Add the parmesan cheese and stir it in with the cooked pasta and peas. Garnish with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste and serve.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

The list of ingredients to make this full recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients along with ideas for substitutes.

Pasta – Italian pasta and peas is traditionally made with ditalini pasta. But you can substitute any small pasta such as elbows, little shells or orecchiette pasta which in my opinion, is the best pasta for this recipe because it holds onto the sauce and the peas well. I don’t recommend large and heavy pasta shapes such as rigatoni or ziti.

Fresh Garlic – Most recipes for pasta and peas don’t use garlic, but I tried making it both ways, and garlic wins! You can leave the garlic out and use only onions for a more traditional pasta and peas.

Water – Pasta and peas is typically cooked in vegetable broth or chicken broth, I use water to keep it economical and to lower the sodium. I find that the peas, onions, and garlic add enough flavor to the pasta. Adding a little bit of salt to taste at the end of cooking works just as well as using broth.

If you prefer to use broth, you can substitute the water with an equal amount of chicken broth or vegetable broth.

an overhead view of pasta and peas on a plate with a fork

Recipe variations

This delicious dish is flavorful and filling on its own, and you can also change it up for a different flavor. Here are some suggestions:

Peas and pasta with mushrooms-Just before serving add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sliced sauteed mushrooms to the pasta and peas.

Pasta and peas with tomatoes – About halfway through cooking, stir in 1/2 cup diced canned or fresh tomatoes.

Add fresh herbs. Add a tablespoon or two of a fresh herb such as fresh mint, fresh basil, or fresh oregano.

Peas and pasta with meat – Just before serving add 2 slices of crispy pancetta, bacon crumbles, or a few slices of chopped prosciutto or ham.

Change up the veggies – Instead of peas, use diced broccoli or chopped asparagus.

Gluten-free pasta and peas – Use your favorite gluten-free pasta instead of whole wheat pasta.

Vegan pasta and peas – Instead of parmesan cheese, use an equal amount of nutritional yeast.

Pasta and peas on a plate with a fork

Serving suggestions

Serve Italian pasta and peas as a main course with a salad like this kale caesar salad, arugula salad with figs, or spinach salad for a complete nutritious dinner.

Italian pasta and peas can also be served as a smaller portion or side dish with grilled chicken, or pork chops.

How to store and reheat leftover pasta and peas

Peas and pasta taste the best right after being cooked. If you do have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.

Reheat the pasta and peas on top of the stove over low heat until heated through. You may need to add some water to keep the pasta from sticking to the pot.

Tips

  • Don’t drain the water from the pasta after cooking there should be just enough to cook the pasta.
  • Even though the cheese and starch from the pasta water create a thick sauce, try adding a small amount of butter or heavy cream just before serving for an extra creamy sauce.
  • Cooking time can vary depending on the shape and size of the pasta. The best way to know if it is cooked is to taste it. It should be slightly soft with a little bit of a bite.

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Easy & Speedy Dinner Guide

Get dinner on the table fast with these ideas.

Can I make this recipe with fresh peas?

Yes, you can! Fresh spring peas taste amazing in this recipe.

Can I cook the peas and onions separately from the pasta?

You can, however, the peas and onions add a nice sweet flavor to the pasta when they are all cooked together.

Do you like this recipe or have a question?

Please leave a comment or question and a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating below. I answer all questions!

Pasta and peas on a plate with a fork

Italian Peas and Pasta

Italian pasta and peas is an easy and economical meal that the whole family will love!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Pasta Recipes
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian pasta and peas recipe, pasta and peas
Servings: 2
Calories: 485kcal
Author: Anne

Equipment

Scale this Recipe 2

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  • Prepare the ingredients: dice the onions and garlic, and measure the pasta, peas, and water. Grate the cheese.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium to high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low heat and stir in the peas.
  • Add the water and cook the peas in the water for few minutes until the water starts to boil.
  • Add the pasta and cook stirring occasionally until the pasta is cooked to al dente.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the shredded parmesan cheese. Once the cheese melts you may need to adjust with a little water or cream and serve.

Video

Notes

This recipe serves two or four as a side dish. It can easily be doubled to make four servings.
Serving Suggestions
Serve Italian pasta and peas as a main course with a salad like this kale caesar salad, arugula salad with figs, or spinach salad for a complete nutritious dinner.
Italian pasta and peas can also be served as a side dish with grilled chicken, or pork chops.
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.
Reheat the pasta and peas on top of the stove over low heat until heated through. You may need to add some water to keep the pasta from sticking to the pot.
See variations in the blog post

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 424mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1029IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 360mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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