Sunday Pasta®: Cavatelli con Ricotta e Piselli (Peas)

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Sunday Pasta Cavatelli con Ricotta e Piselli 640

My dear friend Tantalus strikes again.  Just try to take a nibble. I dare you. It’s almost torturous of  me to tantalize you with this tempting and titillating treat  since it will be nearly impossible for you to taste. So simple, yet so out of reach. Why? For starters, unless you’re in Ragusa, Sicily, where I first ate it, the ambiance will be lacking (although you can always imagine).  And then there are the peas, which probably won’t come fresh from the farm, but rather from your freezer. And unless you’re willing to hand roll the cavatelli, they’ll probably be frozen too.  All of this we can live with, but then there’s the matter of the ricotta…and I don’t mean the stuff in a plastic tub with an expiration date 60 days out.  I mean ricotta like you’ve never tasted and nearly impossible to find.  If you can’t get your hands on fresh ricotta, you may as well give up.  And just in case you think you can buy “fresh ricotta” at the local market, be advised that “fresh” isn’t always fresh, even when called fresh.  So try a specialty cheese shop and look for fresh imported Italian ricotta. You’ll understand when you taste it.

An eternity is a long time to wait, but let me know if you ever reach the prize. You’ll be satisfied if you do.

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

Check out our wine pairings to complement this recipe and our About post that gives a brief history on cavatelli.   

Sunday Pasta®: Cavatelli con Ricotta e Piselli (Peas)

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Sunday Pasta<sup>®</sup>: Cavatelli con Ricotta e Piselli (Peas)


1 lb cavatelli (fresh or frozen)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 cup fresh peas, cooked
Ground black pepper


In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the peas and cook until tender, careful not to overcook them. Set aside ¼ of the peas for garnish.

In a large serving bowl, add a teaspoon of each salt and pepper to the ricotta. With a wooden spoon, mix together vigorously for a few minutes until the ricotta becomes creamy. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, retaining a cup of the pasta cooking water.

Add the pasta to sauté pan with the peas, and heat together for about a minute. Then mix the pasta and peas into the bowl with the ricotta. If the pasta seems dry, add a bit of the retained cooking water. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining peas and a sprinkle of pepper.

Edwin Garrubbo

Edwin Garrubbo

Ed Garrubbo has been studying, cooking, searching for, and thinking about la cucina italiana for as long as he can remember. He cooks a wide range of Italian dishes, but loves his pasta most. He visits restaurants, cooking schools, markets, and food artisans across Italy, and wherever Italians practice their craft. He is a member of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, and is a citizen of both the United States and Italy.

2 Responses to Sunday Pasta®: Cavatelli con Ricotta e Piselli (Peas)

  1. Senor Ed,
    Do you realize I can’t even find fresh peas? What happened to shelling peas? We’re left with opening frozen packages or (worse!) cans. A revoltin’ development, as Ralph Kramden’s friend Ed Norton would say. Seems to me you really should organize an eating trip to Sicily where friends, local food and freshness await!

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    • Edwin Garrubbo Edwin Garrubbo says:

      Sounds like a plan. We’ll organize a gastro tour of Italy. Will be fun too. Grazie. Ed

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