“A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.”  

– Elsa Schiaparelli

Hi there,

Today I want to share with you a recipe that my dear friend Roe shared with me. Roe is a wonderful cook and even more wonderful friend. She grew up in an area that is affectionately known as South Philly. It is an area that originally was filled with immigrants from Italy. South Philly should really be known as the 21st Region of Italy. Roe shared with me a recipe called Pasta with Peas which a very good example of what has become know as cucina povera.


  • 1 5 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 small chopped onions
  • olive oil
  • pinch of oregano
  • salt, black pepper, crushed hot pepper, parsley
  • 1 15 ounce can of peas
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 12 ounces of ditalini:

Directions: In Roe’s words

Hi Bern , hope you understand my handwriting with  ingredients.  It’s a simple dish. I like ditalini pasta or small shells but elbows are good or small rigatoni. I use 12 oz of pasta from box for 1 can of sauce. Add 2 cups  water and your chicken broth after you sauté onion and add spices. It simmers for half hour. Add peas after 20 minutes. You can top with fresh basil too. I never used pancetta in dish.    We always had this side dish with fried flounder

My family still makes this dish and its very popular in south Philly homes. We always want a good loaf of italian bread with it. Chuck brings home a can of hunts sauce , box of ditalini and peas so I know he wants that for dinner.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this recipe as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you. If you make it, drop me a line and let me know how you liked it and I will share your comments with Roe.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with me, please send an email to


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Roe Peiffer says:

    I love all your recipes, you’re the best !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roe Peiffer says:

    I love all your recipes, you’re the best !


  3. I would love this! I never get peas because my husband doesn’t like them. Then add pasta and it’s a win win!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I look forward to the day when once again I can cook with friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bernlag says:

      It has been a hard time to cook with friends and have Sunday dinner. But, I think, the light is on at the end of the tunnel.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never thought to add peas to pasta, a new flavor twist!


  6. It is wonderful to see friends again. Your Pasta with Peas looks wonderful and full of flavor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BERNADETTE says:

      Thank you Jovina – my friend makes the best simple food.


  7. Oh !! it’s a delicious dish!! The cucina povera has excellent ingredients and ancient flavors!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Angie Schn says:

    We love peas and pairing with pasta is such a great idea! It looks comforting and very tasty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BERNADETTE says:

      Most recipes from the Cucina Povera are very satisfying and easy to make.


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