Pasta and Peas

Pasta and Peas

The first time I had pasta and peas was at my hairdressers. I know, what a weird spot to eat Italian food, while you’re getting a haircut! My hairdresser is Italian, and his Mom always makes pasta on Thursday’s, so they always offer it anyone that’s there. It was delicious. So I asked how she made it.

It turns out to be so simple. I think it was a dish that was made during the depression, with very few main ingredients. It is extremely cheap to make, feeds a ton of people, and is extremely good! And, is extremely easy!

Pasta and Peas

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Pasta and Peas

Pasta and Peas

  • Author: A Foodie Affair
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x


Pasta with home made pasta sauce, peas and cheese.


  • 1 lb. Ditalini pasta
  • 128 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp or so sugar
  • Sprinkling of oregano, basil and parsley, dried
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring water in a large saucepot for pasta to a boil.
  2. For sauce, heat olive oil in a saucepot or saute pan, and cook 3/4 of the onion until translucent (save the other 1/4 for the pea mixture). Add garlic, and cook approx 1 minute (be careful not to burn garlic). Add crushed tomatoes, seasonings to taste, sugar and salt and pepper. Cook sauce on low light for approx. 20 minutes.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, approx 10 minutes. Strain pasta reserving 1 c. pasta water. Put pasta back in to saucepot.
  4. For peas, in a small skillet, melt 1 Tbsp butter. Add the leftover 1/4 of onion, and cook until translucent. Add peas and cook until bright green and warmed.
  5. Add sauce and peas to pasta. Add some grated Parmesan cheese. Mix. If sauce is too thick, thin with some of the pasta water.
  6. Serve in a huge bowl. Add more grated Parmesan cheese as desired.


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  • Reply
    March 15, 2017 at 1:33 am

    How much sugar?

    • Reply
      March 28, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Hi Theresa,

      I’d say about a teaspoon or so. It’s just to combat the acidity of the tomatoes.

  • Reply
    vincent Camarda
    May 12, 2017 at 2:06 am

    Your directions call for cooking the sauce for 20 mins. You also call for some sugar to combat the acidity for the tomatoes. I recall my grandma telling me to put a peeled onion in the sauce. This was to offset the bitterness. I simmer a pot of sauce for at least 2-3 hours. The thought of adding sugar to a sauce turns it into Ragu! Sacrilege! I dont know if 20 mins is long enough for the onion to work. FYI a good supermarket jar sauce is Raos. Twice the price..but worth it

    • Reply
      May 14, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Vincent, the onion sounds like a great idea! This sauce is a fresh marinara so it only cooks about 20 minutes. I have had sauces that cook all day as well. Those sauces are equally delicious!

    • Reply
      July 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      I never put sugar in my sauce. My Italian relatives always put a peeled carrot in the sauce as it absorbs all the acidity. Never heard of an onion but sounds just as good to me.

  • Reply
    September 12, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Yeah no sugar!
    Doesn’t need it
    I’ve been cooking this for years

    • Reply
      October 7, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Definitely a tried and true Italian recipe, using staple ingredients. Our ancestors sure knew how to cook!

  • Reply
    Anna Merreighn
    January 18, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    What do I do with a cup of water I reserved from the pasta?

    • Reply
      February 4, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Hi Anna, Sorry, I just added that to the recipe. Whenever you make any pasta dish like Pasta & Peas, Carbonara, etc, it’s always a good idea to reserve a little pasta water. If your end result is a little thick, the pasta water thins the dish, but with a great consistency. As in Carbonara, it thins the sauce to a beautiful shiny and silky consistency. Enjoy!

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