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5 from 42 votes

Pasta and Peas in Red Sauce

Pasta and peas in red sauce is a super simple pantry pasta with onion, tomato paste, tubetti pasta, frozen peas and Pecorino Romano. This pasta is perfect for weeknights because it can be ready in about 30 minutes!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound ditalini or tubetti
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 4 cups water plus more to thin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 12 ounces frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup Pecorino Romano grated


  • Heat a large pot or pan to medium heat and add the olive oil and onions. Cook the onions until soft (about 5-7 minutes), then add the red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Next, add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the pasta and peas and turn the heat down to medium. Cook the pasta at a moderate simmer until al dente. Make sure to stir frequently to avoid sticking and add more water if the pot begins to dry out.
  • When satisfied with the consistency and the pasta has reached al dente, remove the pot from the heat and mix in the cheese. Taste test and season with salt and pepper. If the pasta is at all dry, add extra water to loosen it up.
  • Serve in bowls with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a generous amount of grated Pecorino Romano. Enjoy!



  • Any smallish pasta (small shells, elbows, orecchiette, etc.) works well.
  • Make sure to stir very frequently and add more water as required to avoid sticking.
  • Note - Some people prefer this dish on the soupier side.  If you do, just use extra water.
  • Garlic, fresh herbs, pancetta, anchovies, and a variety of other ingredients can be used to enhance this standard recipe.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave.


Calories: 820kcal | Carbohydrates: 115.7g | Protein: 27.2g | Fat: 31.6g | Saturated Fat: 6.2g | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 903mg | Fiber: 12.8g | Sugar: 18g | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 8mg