Celebrated East Village Italian Chef Frank Prisinzano lovingly describes his “Pasta with Peas” lovingly on his tumblr and Instagram, but he doesn’t specify any measurements or timing as he does a lot of his cooking by feel. For us more OCD chefs, I’ve taken a stab at writing down measurements and timings that have worked for me.

Frank calls for the use of “Passata Di Pomodoro” which is strained, pureed tomatoes. It is sometimes difficult to find at American supermarkets, so if you can’t find it, you can use a can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce.

The sauce is a chunky, rustic sauce with tons of flavor due to the long simmering time. I like to add bacon to give it a smoky characteristic. I like to make this with Fusilli, but you can use Shells or any short pasta you like.

  • 6 servings
  • 5 mins
  • 90 mins
  • 95 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 strips bacon, sliced into batons
  • 2 large (about 1 cup) onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 oz. White Wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 28 oz. tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 16 oz. fusilli pasta
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  • Saute the bacon strips in the olive oil on low-medium heat.
  • When the bacon is crispy, turn the heat to low and add the garlic and diced onions to sweat them, for about 30 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  • Add 2 ounces of white wine and cook for another 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the peas and stir to combine.
  • Add a tablespoon of salt, tomatoes, and bay leaves and simmer on low, stirring occassionally for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions to be just underdone in a pot of salted water and drain.
  • Remove the bay leaves from the sauce and remove from heat. Stir in the heavy cream, and the drained pasta. Add half the parmesan cheese, and stir to coat evenly.
  • Serve with reserved parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper to top.