This dish is a very simple and fast dish to master. It’s a “go-to” dish when your very limited on time and you want something warm and comforting for the whole family. It’s a thrifty dish as well. You can whip this up in 30 minutes or less. All you need is a can of tomato paste, fresh garlic, a bag of frozen peas and to be authentic, I use ditalini pasta, just like my Mom did(You could use the canned peas, but they are no comparison to the frozen peas). You do not need to use the ditalini either, but you want a small type pasta since it’s a soup type entree.
I can recall this dish in my childhood. When my Dad would get home from work, he would want to eat and he didn’t like to wait. My Mom worked too, and if she didn’t thaw out anything for dinner this recipe was always a good one to go to for a fast meal. Back then it was the wife/ mother to do the cooking although my Dad was a very good cook; after he retired he did a lot of the cooking.
Times were so different then from now. There were no Wawa’s or no 7-11’s. At that time there were Mom n’ Pop stores. Individually owned stores that had everything from a loaf of bread to straight pins which might be needed to cut out a sewing pattern. The people who owned the store usually lived in the back of the store. This is where you would go if you needed a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. This kind of store was mostly used either on Sundays or say after 9 PM weekdays; Mom n’ Pop stores would stay open ’til 11 PM.
So much for the flashbacks to my childhood. We’ve come a long way Baby!! If my parents were here to experience the internet or even the cell phone they would be astonished. And I think about my Dad’s hour commute to and from work every day and he couldn’t even get a cup of coffee for the commute home, just unbelievable how far we’ve come.
So as you can see nothing can ever take the place of a home-cooked meal, even if it only takes a half-hour to make. There are some things in life that can not be replaced. And I think there is no kinder act you could do for your family then to sit down at the table together and eat a home-cooked meal even if it only takes 30 minutes. The company and conversation are priceless.
Josie’s Peas n’ Pasta
Here is an authentic mid-week meal for the entire family. It's even kind to whoever is preparing it too! Be it Mom or Dad it's so easy even your son or daughter (of course, with either Mom's or Dad's approval) can whip this authentic Italian dish up in as little as 30 minutes. There are a few ways you can do this; you can use crushed tomato or you can use tomato paste diluted by water. You can also use tomato sauce.
But I think my favorite is using the tomato paste. It justs comes out richer and has a deeper flavor. It also is probably not only the fastest sauce but also best tasting.
This recipe probably came here with Grandmom and Grandpop Pierantozzi: my Mom, Josie, was making this as far back as I could remember. It is a staple in an Italian household. It's probably one of the original "30-minute meals".
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- ½ bag 24 oz. bag of frozen peas
- 4 cups Filtered water
- handful cleaned fresh or frozen basil
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ box 16 oz.box ditalini
Put a pot of water on for your ditalini.
In a small stockpot add your olive oil and your chopped garlic; brown lightly
After your water starts to boil, put your pasta in. Be sure not to overcook your pasta.
Turn your garlic burner off; so, do not let your olive oil splatter. Next, you're going to add your whole can of tomato paste and the water. Stirring and blending your water into the tomato paste add your basil, salt, and pepper and last your peas.
Start it on high flame and stir. You're going to bring it to a full rolling boil, then turn it down to medium-high. Let that cook for about 20 minutes. ( Be aware not to let all the water evaporate.)
By this time your pasta should be ready, drain and reserve some of the liquid just in case you need it for the tomato and peas.
You are going to add your ditalini to the peas and tomato gravy; let it cook together so all the flavors come together.
If it gets to thick you can add some of your reserved liquid.
After you dish it out, top it off with some delish parmesan cheese, and for those who like even more spice add some red pepper flakes to the individual's taste.
Mangiare in Buona Salute!!