Macaroni Peas

By • May 22, 2013 • 31 Comments

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Author Notes: From River Cottage Veg, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who recommends garnishing with fresh basil and parsley. But if you want to amp up the flavor, I'd recommend adding bacon or cooked ham, or garnishing with chopped toasted almonds.Nicholas

Serves 4

  • 1 pound shelled small peas, fresh or frozen
  • 10 ounces pasta, in a small shape (like macaroni, fusilli, orecchiette)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, coarsely grated
  1. Put on a large pot of salted water on to boil. Then put the peas in a separate saucepan and add water to just cover. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender -- a couple of minutes. Drain the peas -- but reserve their cooking water.
  2. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan over low heat; add the garlic and cook gently for several minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Put half the cooked peas in a blender with 6 tablespoons of their cooking water, the butter and garlic, and the grated cheese. Puree until smooth, adding more cooking water if necessary. Combine with the remaining (whole) peas and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Drain the pasta and toss with the hot pea sauce. Serve with more grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Comments (31) Questions (0)


6 days ago caseymsy

I couldn't find orrichiette pasta so used medium shells , still came out the same


6 days ago caseymsy

Made this the other night. Delish!!!!!! Had some over so next day fried it up and added extra cheese and eggs. This is good for a quick meal


6 days ago Kate Makarin

Amazing. I actually use garlic salt and comes out great.


8 days ago caseymsy

This sounds good, am going to try it tonight.


10 days ago Jamie Pitt Miller

Made this and loved it. I think for summer it might be interesting to add some mint and maybe a fresh dollop of ricotta on top.


11 days ago stilllifewithwhisk

I made this twice last week! Delicious both times.


14 days ago dwayla

Would be great with avocado!


14 days ago dwayla

Wow! Followed recipe as closely as my pantry allowed--easy and delicious! Thirteen-month old approved, too. Start to finish in the amount of time it took to cook the pasta.


17 days ago Amanda at Striped Spatula

Simple, fresh, and beautiful. Looks like spring!


17 days ago Jen

Any tips on how to keep orecchiette separated? I love it, but no matter what I do, I have trouble keeping the little suckers from sticking to each other.


17 days ago maeveoh

Salt the water way more than you think you need to and stir more than usual!


26 days ago AnneHD

The three of us, including the 22 mo toddlerette, love this recipe. To make it even simpler, we sauté all the peas in the butter, then use half of them to make the sauce (using pasta water) with an immersion blender. We add crumbled bacon, but (unlike my husband) I don't think this is essential to enjoying this dish.


3 months ago Karishma Daga

I didn't have any parmesan on me, so I used jalapeño cheddar and ricotta cheese instead. To add some heat, I cooked the garlic with a lot of hot chili flakes to get some heat. It came out delicious! I'll definitely be making it again.


9 months ago Mariah Gallagher

This turned out exceptionally well. It was even good the next day for lunch (though warmed not cold). I did use the full box (16oz) of pasta (still had plenty of sauce) and used the stick blender to puree. We added grilled bacon, the smoky flavor went great. Thanks for the recipe...a nice twist for pasta.


9 months ago maeveoh

Seeming to notice that all of my favorite pasta recipes invariably include, garlic, parmesan, olive oil or butter, and a Star Vegetable.

This looks so delicious!


10 months ago insane passions

Awesome recipe - the simple recipes are always the best! I've made it a few times now and my kids love it. I've been adding spinach to the puree little by little to broaden their palette and the sweetness of the peas is always enough to win them over. The sauce itself can be thinned out with chicken stock and/or milk to make a pea/spinach soup. This is an exceptionally versatile dish. So glad you submitted it.


10 months ago Dima Haddad

It looks like a simple recipe and people might tend to add to it but in my sometimes the best recipes are the simplest! i will resist the urge to add to it and follow the recipe and see how it turns out!


10 months ago pvanhagenlcsw

I am making this for the second time tonight and has become a summer favorite. The peas from the coast (west) are at their best and this recipe certainly hihglights their flavor. Once again a few simple ingredients for a grand meal. Thanks for sharing it.


11 months ago Odegaard

Baked prosciutto (375 degrees for 10-12 min.) crumbled & thrown on top takes this dish to a new level. Simple & delicious!


11 months ago Ken Woytisek

Mary, if you want something that is easy to prepare , healthy, and delicious then ,yes this is a good recipe. (And Emily made a good suggestion on how to make it even faster!) You won't know if it's a good recipe until you try it. And, here is my suggestion-don't change anything until you have made it at least once , then feel free to embellish. (I made this twice in the past two weeks. The second time I added some cherry tomatoes :)


10 months ago David M. Caballero

Ken, I could not agree more. I tire of people trying a recipe, but making many alterations to it, and then pronouncing it bad.


10 months ago Chef Ken

Thanks David. It's funny to read how many people change the recipe before even trying the original recipe. It's a problem I have with my students who want to put their "stamp" on the dish and in some cases, disastrous !


11 months ago MaryVB

Is this a really good recipe?