I am so very pleased to have this wonderful opportunity to share with you a recipe that my mother handed down to me. My maternal grandparents came here from Palermo, Sicily in the early 1900’s. They brought with them many typical Sicilian recipes that became family favorites that my family is still enjoying today. This particular dish called Pasta Piselli is my life saver dish. It’s my go-to dish when I’m running late or I have nothing planned to make for dinner, or if I get an expected guest for dinner. It’s quick to prepare, I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry, and it is always a hit with everyone.
I have been making this dish since I was 14 years old. Yes, that’s right 14! and I am 65 years old now. I’ve always said my mother was a woman ahead of her time. In the early 60’s, long before most married woman with young children went off to work, she was a working mother. Not only did she go to work, but she had her own business. She was the owner and operator of a beauty salon – in those days it was called a beauty parlor. Being the older of two children, I had many responsibilities and chores to do when I came home from school. One of those chores was to “start dinner”, so that when mom got home from work, dinner would be almost ready for us to sit down as a family and eat together. Throughout my many years of making this dish, I have tweaked it and kind of made it my own. You can adjust the amount of any of the following ingredients, according to the number of people you will be making this for and whether or not you want the consistency to be thicker or thinner. The recipe below is enough for approximately 3 or 4 people.
Olive Oil – a generous amount to cover bottom of saucepan
1 Small onion – chopped
1 15 oz. can of peas – not drained (or pkg. of frozen peas)
1 or 2 – 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce (depending on how much pasta you use)
½ box (or more) of Farfalle style pasta or any style pasta you prefer
*If you would like – you can add 2 links of sausage – I use 1 hot & 1 sweet. Take the sausage meat out of the casing and break it up and brown it before adding to the tomato sauce. After adding it to the tomato sauce, simmer for an additional 10 minutes before adding the peas to mixture.
On a medium to low flame, heat enough olive oil to cover the entire bottom of your sauce- pan. Add the thinly sliced onion and sauté until onions are translucent (not browned). Add the canned tomato sauce and season to taste. Let this cook on low for approx. 15 minutes or until you see tiny golden bubbles around the edge of saucepan. Add the canned peas (do not drain) to the sauce mixture and continue to cook approx. 15 minutes.
In the meantime, have the water boiling for your pasta and at the same time you add the peas to the sauce, you can put your pasta in the boiling water. Cook pasta to desired tenderness and drain when done. Begin adding small amounts of the cooked pasta to the sauce and peas mixture in the saucepan. Mix well, marrying all the flavors together on a very low flame for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a serving dish, sprinkle with lots of grated cheese and Enjoy! It’s quick, delicious and very economical!