Enjoy this delicious Pasta, Peas, and Parmesan Cheese as a side dish, or as a stand-alone meal. The peppery pan sauce is made with pepper, pasta water, and cheese, and adds just a touch of heat. This quick and easy recipe takes only 30 minutes. Bonus: make it all in one pot for easy cleanup.
The peppery cheese pan sauce is my favorite part of this recipe. The peas and pasta are just along for the ride. LOL
So, if you’re like my dear friend Shar, and don’t like peas, no problem. Keep reading and I’ll give you some other options.
Making Pasta, Peas, and Parmesan Cheese
In a large pot, bring your water to a boil and add your pasta.
If you don’t have fettuccine, use what you have.
Similar pasta to fettuccine is pappardelle and tagliatelle. I can’t always find those, but everyone has fettuccine. I hope.
So, read the directions on the pasta box and cook per directions.
Also, you need to add the peas to the pasta about 4 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, so set your timer.
For example, if the pasta box says it takes 11 minutes, add the pasta to the water and set timer for 7 minutes.
Then, add the peas and reset the timer for 4 minutes. This way the pasta cooks for 11 minutes total.
Important step before you drain the pasta and peas.
Before you drain the pasta and peas, reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water. Be careful as the water is obviously hot.
Ok, now drain the pasta and peas.
While the pasta was cooking, grate the Parmesan and pecorino romano cheeses, and blend together.
Let’s talk Parmesan cheese.
It’s important for the cheese to melt smoothly in this dish, so I recommend buying a fresh wedge of both cheeses.
If you buy the cheese pre-shredded, you should know it’s been processed. In other words, it isn’t pure cheese anymore.
It has added starches and anti-caking agents that help it not clump while it sits in the bag and waits for someone to buy it.
Unfortunately, those differences won’t let the cheese melt smoothly and get all stringy like fresh does.
I’ll warn you, though, fresh wedges of cheese come at a higher price, but it’s worth it.
Having said that, I don’t always have plans for a whole wedge of cheese, so I also use the grated cheese that comes in a plastic can. You know the one.
Ok, where were we?
The pasta and peas are draining, the cheese has been grated and is sitting in a bowl, and I have 1 1/2 cups of pasta water. Check.
In that same large pot (remember I said this was a one pot meal?) heat the butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper on medium heat.
Cook this for about 1 minute to melt the butter, then add half of the pasta water (3/4 cup). Let this simmer for about 2 minutes; the sauce will slightly thicken.
Almost there, time to mix it all together.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the pasta and peas back into the pot. Stir in the cheese in batches.
In other words, don’t dump the cheese in all at once. Instead, throw some in and stir until it starts melting, then add some more.
If the sauce starts feeling too thick and sticky, you have that pasta water you can add in. Otherwise, you may not need the rest of that water at all.
And that it, time to eat.
Top with some freshly chopped parsley, or if you’re a true cheese lover, grate some more cheese on top.
Can there really ever be too much cheese? I think not.
Options, Additions, and Substitutions for Pasta, Peas, and Parmesan Cheese
Peas not your thing? Even if they are, this recipe will go with so many things, I’m sure I can’t name even a small portion.
So, just to get the creative juices flowing, (this is a food blog, after all), let’s name a few.
Bacon. That word alone brings me happiness. How about ham or prosciutto? Tiny cooked meatballs? Cooked and crumbled sausage. Yum.
Leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken…and throw those peas back in there, just don’t tell Shar.
What about veggies? Asparagus or sun dried tomatoes would be pretty. I would love sauteed mushrooms and onions with a little garlic. Almost forgot my favorite, spinach.
See where this is going? Use whatever you have in the fridge, and it’s a great time to use up leftovers.
More pasta recipes:
- Creamy Spinach Prosciutto Tortellini
- Cheese Manicotti
- Spicy Turkey Spinach Roll Ups, which you don’t have to make spicy if that scares you.
- Pesto Tortellini Salad
- Classic Basil Pesto, to go with the Pesto Tortellini Salad.
- Weekend Bacon Basil Pasta
Pasta, Peas, and Parmesan Cheese
- 8 oz. fettuccine, (or similar, like tagliatelle or pappardelle)
- 2 cups peas
- 3/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- optional: fresh chopped parsley for topping
- In large pot, boil water. Add dry pasta and cook just until tender, approx. 11 minutes. Add peas to pasta 4 minutes before pasta is done cooking. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta water, then drain pasta and peas.
- Meanwhile, grate and blend cheeses in small bowl. Set aside.
- Once pasta is done and draining, heat butter, oil, salt and pepper in large pot on medium heat for 1 minute.
- Add 3/4 cup of pasta water and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes. Sauce will thicken slightly.
- Remove pot from heat, then add the pasta and peas. Stir in the cheese in batches. As the cheese melts, add more water, but only if necessary.
- Top with optional fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Pasta, Peas, and Parmesan Cheese
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