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Pasta e Piselli (Pasta with Peas)

Pasta e Piselli, pasta with peas. A classic Neapolitan dish that is easy to make and comes together quick. Simple ingredients and is the definition of “cucina povera” I stuck with a more traditional take on this recipe with a meatless version, but feel free to add pancetta, ham, bacon or prosciutto. This is perfect for a weeknight pasta dish and the sweetness of the peas, saltiness of the cheese and the hint of mint is just a perfect combination. I have to keep telling myself that simple is always best. The Italians are the best at that.

PASTA WITH PEAS (PASTA E PISELLI)

Recipe by Mark Calaminici | Food Loves Company

Serves 4


Ingredients

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

120g or 1 cup white onion, finely chopped

300g or 2 cups frozen or fresh peas

Salt, to taste

Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Chili flakes, to taste

6-8 large mint leaves, torn or chiffonade

500g pasta, short pasta like ditali

1 wedge of lemon

80g Pecorino Romano


Method

1. In a large pan on medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil and onions. Saute until onions are very tender and translucent. This may take about 10 minutes.


2. As the onions saute, salt a large pot of boiling water and add pasta. Cook the pasta until half way, as we will finish cooking it in the pan. Reserve pasta water.


3. Add the peas to the pan with the onions along with 1-2 ladles of pasta water. Season with salt, freshly cracked pepper and chili flakes to taste.


4. Add the pasta and finish cooking the pasta in the pan with the peas, adding more pasta water, mixing and tossing along the way. You can enjoy this dish a couple different ways, as you as you can have more of a soupy consistency, just by adding more pasta water. Add the mint and lemon and continue to mix and cook.


5. Remove the pan from the heat or turn off the heat and add the Pecorino Romano a handful at a time, mixing and tossing to incorporate it into the pasta to form a creamy sauce. The cheese will soak up a lot of the liquid so if you are looking for a soupy constituency add more pasta water. Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Pecorino Romano and freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy!