Pasta Piselli

By • January 30, 2013 • 75 Comments

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Author Notes: I first had this when I lived in Italy. I was invited to a friend's house for lunch and this soup was served as a first course. (Lunch is a big deal in Italy with multiple courses.) I watched my friend's grandmother make this soup as it took her just a few minutes and a handful of ingredients: chicken stock or broth, homemade (or dried) pasta, peas, egg, and grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Note: You can use Parmesan cheese instead of Romano, or mix them. sdebrango

Food52 Review: WHO: Sdebrango currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, and comes from a large Italian family that loves to cook.
WHAT: An easy-peasy Italian pasta that tastes like spring.
HOW: Cook peas and fresh pasta in chicken broth, then add in an egg and a hefty serving of Pecorino Romano cheese to bind it all together in a blanket of cheesy goodness.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This soup's depth of flavor belies its short ingredient list and quick cooking time to make it the perfect weeknight meal, courtesy of your fridge. The earthy peas compliment the full-flavored, velvety broth, brightened by a pinch (or two) of lemon zest—we just might make it again for dinner tonight.
The Editors

Serves 2 to 4

  • 32 ounces (4 cups) chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 pound fresh pasta (I used linguine but capellini or spaghetti works just as well. If you don't have fresh, dried works great, also.)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus some to serve (Parmesan also works.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of lemon zest (optional)
  1. If using fresh pasta, bring the broth or stock to a boil in a large saucepan, add the peas, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the fresh pasta and cook for about 3 minutes. If using dried pasta, add the pasta into the broth before the peas. Cook the pasta for 3 minutes, then add the peas and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg then add the grated cheese and combine. Remove pot from the heat and pour the egg mixture in slowly, while continuing to stir the pasta to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of lemon zest if you like. Serve with more cheese grated on top.
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Comments (75) Questions (0)

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3 days ago beejay45

Congrats on the win!

This seems like an excellent way to use up leftover pasta, something I usually have in the fridge. And all ingredients I like, too. Maybe tomorrow with angel hair. ;) Thanks!

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3 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, angel hair would be great, it cooks so quickly.

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3 days ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Salt and pepper are freebies

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3 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

And if you count the salt and pepper and optional lemon it's 7 not 8

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3 days ago o

I count eight ingredients.

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5 days ago Margaret Godowns

Made this last night -- instead of a pot, I made it in a deep frying pan and made a sort of crust on top with the egg and cheese mixture. This was a super fast and easy recipe -- thanks!

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4 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Margaret I LOVE that idea. Next time I make it I will try that. The idea of a crust of sorts really is wonderful. I love doing that with rice but never tried pasta. Thank you and so glad you liked the recipe and that you got creative.

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8 days ago Trena Heinrich

My mouth was watering as I was reading this recipe. I've been traveling and eating my way through Southeast Asia for the past six months and while I love the food I dearly miss Italian flavors and pasta. Thank you for giving me a simple and delicious recipe with ingredients I can source from Asia.

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8 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh lucky you, I am totally in love with Asian food. Thank you so much, yes everything is easy to source from almost anywhere and the dish is so simple to make. If you make it I do hope you enjoy and thank you again.

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8 days ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I was one of the lucky souls to test this recipe, and even as I tenderly stirred in the egg and cheese, I began to feel that it was destined to be a finalist. The kiss of lemon sealed the deal. Not only did it rightly turn up in the finals, but I also suspect that it will become one of those all-time classics. Besides, how can anyone resist a backstory that begins, "I first had this when I lived in Italy." Both the story and the dish itself leave one begging for more.

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8 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you Cynthia, for testing my recipe and for your support and kindness.

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8 days ago Selma | Selma's Table

Suzanne, congratulations on being a finalist!! This sounds like just delicious - makes a nice and lighter change from risotto which is what I usually make with the chicken broth...

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8 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Selma, it is much much quicker than risotto and really is so good.

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9 days ago StraighttotheHipsBaby

Congratulations! The dish looks amazing!

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8 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much.

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9 days ago Kukla

Congratulations on being a finalist Suzanne!

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8 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Kukla, you are always so kind.

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9 days ago Madhuja

Congratulations, Suzanne! This is just the recipe for my insanely hectic lifestyle right now!

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9 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Madhuja!

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9 days ago Bevi

Congrats Suzanne!

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9 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Bevi!

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9 days ago Midge

This sounds like dinner tonight! Congratulations Suzanne!

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9 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Ha, thanks so much Midge!!

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9 days ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Congrats, Suzanne!! I can't wait to make your pasta. I'm honored to be a finalist with you! I love the underlying Italian theme in this week's competition!

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9 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Liz, honored to be in this with you and yes LOVE the Italian theme.

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9 days ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Suzanne, congratulations on being a finalist! Hard choice this week! XO

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9 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Really hard, love Liz's zabaglione I've made it and it's amazing. Thank you so much.

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9 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much Barbara, it is a very hard choice. I love Liz's zabaglione it's delicious, I've made it more than once.

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22 days ago LE BEC FIN

suzanne, i have a confession- i have never liked frozen peas. but maybe i haven't tasted a good brand. (I know i can shuck fresh ones, but ) which frozen brand do you like? And have you ever tried this recipe using edamame? Thx and congrats!

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22 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Mindy;
Never tried with edamame but they have a very different taste and texture to me. I also love fresh peas, of course they are far superior but when I buy frozen I usually get Cascadian Farms, or if I can find them locally Hudson Valley freezes their fresh vegetables but thats a local NY thing. I would use with peas rather than edamame.

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9 days ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm not crazy about peas, either, but you have inspired me to try this. So clever, so simple, and pantry-ready, to boot. Congratulations! ;o)

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9 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, the peas are really nice in this dish. I do like peas on their own but they really take on a new and different flavor here.

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over 1 year ago LynneT

Got home from a stressful day at work today and found this when I searched for "pasta." It was fabulous. It will enter my regular rotation and will likely become my go-to pasta dish on a night when I'm too tired to do anything fussy.

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you Lynne, me too it's my go to quick and easy pasta dish. So thrilled that you liked it! Thank you for letting me know.

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about 2 years ago pikes kitchen

It wasn't very soupy. But it was tasty!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Pikes kitchen, you are right it is not really a brothy soup, it has more noodles than broth. Thank you very much for trying and letting me know.

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about 2 years ago pikes kitchen

Making this right now,smells great!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you I do hope you enjoy!!

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about 2 years ago pikes kitchen

Making it right now! Smells wonderful!

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about 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm looking forward to making it for the daughter when I visit her in Boulder next week. Congratulations!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks B, have fun with the daughter, say hi from me. Hope you enjoy!