So you might not be the best chef in the world, but are you sick and tired of being unable to make yourself an easy meal to eat before you go to work? Well, you can start expanding your culinary repertoire today, with this easy-to-understand recipe for making pasta and peas.
Not only is this meal filling, but it is healthy too. Peas are a great source of vitamins, whereas pasta will give you just enough carbs to fill you up. This dish is not only simple to prepare, but will require very few ingredients.
However, that is not to say that this meal is not delicious and cooked to a professional standard. It only requires 5 ingredients, but they are very tasty and balanced to give you the best taste when it comes to your next meal.
All you’ll be doing is sauteing some onion in olive oil, adding vegetable broth and peas before adding the pasta. It really is that simple!
So how best can you prepare your pasta and pea dish for yourself? How expensive will it be to procure these few ingredients? How can you amend this dish so it is edible for both carnivores and vegans? Is this dish healthy for you and how can you prepare it for a party of people?
Well, if you are asking yourself these questions, then you should definitely read on. This will give you everything that you need for a sumptuous pasta dish. It comes with cheese and a liberal dash of vegetables. We’ll also tell you how best to prepare chicken and vegetables to add to this dish if you want to bulk up your nutrient intake.
Why Pasta And Peas?
Looking at this pasta dish, it is possible to see why it is so popular. If you use pasta shells - which we definitely recommend you do, the peas form a kind of stuffing in every single one. This is a very delicious method of prepping food and will be a must-have for vegetarians.
Often it is hard to find a wholesome vegetarian dish, especially one that does not contain a horde of preservatives. Well, with this pasta dish, you can be certain of having plenty of pea protein and carbohydrates to give you that energy boost, as well as building muscle.
If you measure out your pasta properly, then you can be certain that you’ll have just enough to keep you going without leaving you feeling bloated. We would definitely recommend pasta and peas to anyone who is looking to shed weight quickly and effectively. This will give you everything that you need for a filling meal that won’t result in snacking afterward.
The preparation time is also what makes this meal extra appealing. Not only will you be able to tuck into this dish within half an hour of making it, but it will cut down on cooking time as well as the inevitable clean-up afterward.
There will only be a few things that you need to make this dish, including the main ingredients, as well as a few other things that you’ll need for flavoring. Here they are:
- Frozen or fresh peas - you should be able to get these from any supermarket. If you want to be healthy and ingest as many nutrients as possible, we suggest getting organic peas.
- Short cut pasta - whether it is elbow or shell pasta, having it short with a hole in the center will be important for allowing your peas to form a delicious filling.
- Cheese - we recommend parmesan or grana Padano cheese.
- Onions - this will add some extra flavor without too many calories.
- Olive oil - this is for cooking and ensuring good heat retention.
- Salt and pepper - this will certainly help you with seasoning.
So there you have it. Pretty simple, right? Make sure that you have all of these ingredients ready before you step foot inside your kitchen. We would probably guess that most households have these ingredients already.
How To Make Pasta And Peas
Okay, now that you have your ingredients lined up, let’s get to the preparation and the cooking. Make sure that you have a decent hob ready for boiling food.
- Create the flavor base - first, all you have to do is saute some diced onion in a frying pan for around 5 minutes. This will create delicious flavors for your meal.
- Stir in the peas. You can cook them either raw or frozen, they shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes.
- Add your vegetable broth or hot water, making sure to stir regularly.
- Cook it the Italian way by stirring in the pasta, along with the salt and pepper.
- The pasta will gradually absorb the water and will eventually absorb all the flavor. It will also release the starch. You should cook the pasta shells until they are slightly crunchy.
- Make sure you stir your pasta and peas regularly.
- When your pasta is ready, grate in the parmesan cheese. Keep stirring until a lot of the water has been absorbed by the pasta.
- Strain out any excess water, although this should only be done if you have poured in too much.
- Peel back the starch and see whether your pasta has that light and glossy texture.
- Serve this pasta with ground pepper, adding a drizzle of olive oil and some additional parmesan cheese.
That’s it! This relatively simple pasta dish will give you everything that you need for a full belly and a decent dollop of protein. We would recommend that you use plenty of peas until each pasta shell is filled up.
When you are cooking, we would recommend tasting regularly to check the texture and the feel of each shell. Ideally, you’ll want a floppy outer shell with a firm and crunchy texture in the middle. This is called al dente pasta.
A Few More Cooking Tips And Tricks
This is an Italian favorite for obvious reasons. Not only is it a great way of lightening up your lunchtime, but it is also prepared very quickly. This is one of the cheapest meals to make too, being very popular amongst students and low-income families.
We would recommend buying peas from the tin, as this will save you a few dollars in the long run. If you are trying to save money on pasta, then you should opt for the shop-bought versions, rather than fresh pasta from the deli.
If you want to add that protein hit to your meal, then you should think about cooking some chicken. This is a great source of protein, with very little preparation time involved. All you have to do is either boil or grill your chicken in the oven.
If you want to add some extra flavor to your chicken, then we would suggest that you throwing in some vegetable stock or maybe even a little paprika, although you have to be careful as this will not contrast too harshly with the taste of your parmesan and peas.
You might want to add protein if you are an exercise fanatic, as this is a great source of animal protein. However, peas are also another little-known source of protein, which brings us to our next article...
Should You Eat Peas?
Peas are a great source of antioxidants, as well as protein and fiber. You can be sure of getting plenty of minerals with this dish, so don’t be stingy when it comes to piling up your plate high with plenty of peas. You can even add further vegetables for a real energy boost before you start your day.
Peas are green and full of vitamins, so they will be a great supplement to any vitamins that you take in pill form. Peas have a sweet and almost meaty texture, so don’t worry about piling your plate high with them.
Are Peas Still Healthy When Frozen?
Luckily, peas are just as good for you when they are frozen as they are fresh from the market. Picking your peas fresh off the vine is preferable, but not always practical. These are very light on calories, so help yourselves to as many as you like.
Peas are also good all year-round, so you won’t have to wait for the summer season to add them to your pasta dish. They have plenty of antioxidants, so they will help boost your body’s natural resistance to harmful viruses.
Cooking Peas The Right Way
Pasta and peas are both very delicate, so you’ll want to be super careful when you are preparing them. Make sure they are cooked on very low heat, as this will allow them to absorb the flavor easier and will prevent splitting. Both of these ingredients have very thin skins, so you’ll have to be very careful when it comes to exposing them to a lot of heat.
The pasta will also release starch when it is cooking, which actually aids the process. Make sure that you stir your pasta frequently during the cooking process, as it will stick to the bottom and eventually come apart.
The ultimate result that you want from your pasta is that lovely glossy look. You’ll want them to shine in the light, preserving a lot of their texture, being smooth on the inside and crunchy in the middle.
Variations On The Pasta And Pea Theme
As we mentioned, there are plenty of other ingredients that you can add to your pasta and pea combo. One thing we haven’t mentioned is ham, which is another good source of protein and will give you everything that you need for a filling meal at lunch or dinner.
You can also add pancetta or bacon, which will have much the same effect. Having meat in this dish will definitely boost its protein, but it will also add additional calories. If you are looking to keep your waistline, then we would suggest just sticking with the conventional pasta and pea combo.
If you are going to cook meat, then add it to the flavor base with the diced onion. This is because meat takes a little longer to cook than most vegetables and pasta. You should put a third of a cup of diced meat in with the onions to ensure that they all cook evenly.
Pasta And Peas In The Fridge
If you are a fan of batch cooking and want to save some for later, then you might be wondering how long this meal will last once you have cooked it. Well, one thing you won’t want to do is leave your meal out at room temperature to stagnate. You can guarantee that this won’t last you that long and won’t be that nice to eat.
We would suggest that you keep this in the fridge in an airtight container to make sure that no bacteria gets into it. If you wrap this tightly enough, then you can guarantee that it will still be edible 48 hours after you have prepared it.
If you are going to reheat it from its refrigerated state, then you should preheat a pan with some oil and pour it in. Let your pasta cook for around 5/10 minutes with a few tablespoons of water and then serve with a fresh sprig of parsley.
You can store your pasta and peas in the freezer, although do not expect it to preserve its original flavor or texture. You can potentially keep this one for up to 3 months in the freezer, although its flavor will be vastly diminished by then.
Other Cooking Tips
Get All The Ingredients Before Cooking
You don’t want to be halfway through this pasta and pea dish before realizing that you’ve forgotten the peas. You might be so rushed that you’ll have to bin the pasta and onions. One way to avoid this is by making sure you have everything prepped before even turning the oven on.
Get Your Cooking Area Ready
The best thing about this dish is the fact that you need very little cooking space to get everything ready. Check to see if you have one hob free, although we would recommend that you have at least two hobs available.
Get a fairly large-sized pot for this meal, as it will give you plenty of room to add more water if the meal starts drying out.