Pasta Piselli

By • January 30, 2013 80 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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about 1 month ago hotsauce

This is dangerously easy for how delicious it is. Maybe I did things wrong but the lemon zest was slightly too much for me- I have decided that the juice of a lemon added with the egg is just perfect. Love how adaptable this is as well. I love adding kale and a little bit of white wine, but imagine mushrooms or asparagus would be as well! Thanks for the amazing recipe.

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about 1 month ago charliesofia

When I made this, I found it enjoyable though very subtle in its flavours. But when I came home hungry the following evening and ate it straight out of the fridge, it was heaven! I would happily serve it to guests as a cold dish in summer - would be the perfect start to a warm weather dinner party. And you could make it the night before! Will definitely be making again and again. Simple and delicious, hot or cold. Thank you!

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you and yes it is subtle especially the day you make it but the next day the flavors meld and seem to intensify somewhat. So happy you enjoyed.

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2 months ago zaini

Love this recipe. It's so quick and simple. I don't make pastas often but this I had to try. I added a little hotsauce though since we Indians love spicy food :)

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2 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love how you added hot sauce. I bet it's delicious. Thank you so much and so glad you liked it. Thank you.

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3 months 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 months 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 months ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Salt and pepper are freebies

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3 months 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 months ago o

I count eight ingredients.

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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months ago StraighttotheHipsBaby

Congratulations! The dish looks amazing!

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much.

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3 months ago Kukla

Congratulations on being a finalist Suzanne!

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Kukla, you are always so kind.

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3 months ago Madhuja

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

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Madhuja!

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3 months ago Bevi

Congrats Suzanne!

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Bevi!

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3 months ago Midge

This sounds like dinner tonight! Congratulations Suzanne!

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Ha, thanks so much Midge!!

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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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3 months 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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over 2 years ago pikes kitchen

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

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over 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.