It had been raining all day, and I came home cold, tired and hungry. Rome does not deal well with heavy rain: drains get blocked, roads flood, transport becomes even more erratic, and the news is full of how many metres the Tevere (river) has risen. Very tempting to pop up the road for takeway pizza, but it was bucketing down. So pasta e piselli it was, pasta with peas, and we were eating within fifteen minutes. Simple and very tasty. Tinned peas is just fine here.
Pasta e piselli (pasta with peas)
200 grammes small pasta (I used ditalini)
One yellow onion
One tsp olive oil
One tin of peas, not drained
A quarter of vegetable stock cube
One tbs tomato paste
A little pepper
To serve, optional: grated parmesan
Get your pasta water boiling, and start your pasta. Small pasta is traditional for this. The dish is like pasta e ceci, very simple. In the interim, heat the olive oil. Chop the onion, and gently fry it for a few minutes until it softens. Tip in the tin of peas, without draining it. Crumble a quarter of a stock cube, and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Heat through for a couple minutes, I covered it with a lid while waiting for pasta. If you want the dish more liquid, just add a little of the starchy boiling pasta water.
Drain pasta when done (this ditalini took nine minutes), tip it back in the pan and toss it with the peas and onion. Grind a little black pepper over. Serve with grated parmesan (or skip it to make this a vegetarian dish).
Notes: Not pretty, but perfect comfort food on a rainy evening. When I get hungry, I get cranky fast….. But this was quick to make, and really satisfying and tasty; we had two bowls each. You could use frozen peas, or add mushrooms, garlic, or pancetta, or make it more soupy, depending on how you like it. This simple version was very nice indeed! Also, quite inexpensive, so we will get our pizza da portare via another night.
PS An excellent update on the rain here from “You Can Take The Girl Out Of Bradford” yesterday: When it rains in Rome. Part 2.