“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


29 responses to “COOKING WITH FRIENDS”

  1. What a wonderful recipe, Bernadette. It looks like Roe is ladling up some comfort food. 🙂 I love the quote, and totally agree about food and friendship. They go hand in hand. <3

  2. Love these simple and comforting dishes. I often experienced with an Italian friend who made elbow macaroni and broccoli, and it so reminded me when I read this post. Delicious.


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