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4.99 from 52 votes

Pasta e Piselli

Pasta e piselli is a simple comforting dish made with just a few ingredients. Tiny pasta is simmered with sweet peas and onions until al dente and finished with grated Pecorino cheese and plenty of extra virgin olive oil.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound ditalini or other small shape pasta
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups water plus more to thin
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1 pound frozen peas
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano grated
  • pepper to taste


  • Heat a large pot or pan to a touch less than 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.
  • Add the water, salt, and peas and bring to a boil. Once boiling, mash some of the peas with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the pasta 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 classic recipe.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave.


Calories: 805kcal | Carbohydrates: 105.1g | Protein: 28.6g | Fat: 33.1g | Saturated Fat: 7.3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 10.7g | Sugar: 12.2g | Calcium: 262mg | Iron: 5mg

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