Recipe: Simply Easy Creamy Pasta and Peas

Simple pasta dishes made with REAL ingredients rock in my book! And boy oh boy, does this recipe deliver!

Looking for a quick meal that can replace those boxes of mac and cheese? Simply Easy Creamy Pasta with Peas is super quick, easy enough for the kids to help make, and it uses only REAL ingredients. It's also really flexible so you can customize it to your tastes or what you've got on hand.

Originally I learned this recipe from some college friends of mine. It’s always been a family favorite, and my son and I have made it together countless times. So if you’re looking for a great recipe to cook with your kids, this one is perfect. In fact, it’s easy enough that even your youngest kids can help out.

What I also love about my Simply Easy Creamy Pasta with Peas recipe is that it’s super flexible. Over the past five years I’ve flexed it several times, each time making it a little bit healthier along the way—first by adding whole wheat pasta, then by increasing the amount of veggies in it, and finally even making vegetarian versions. So don’t feel handcuffed by this recipe. If you don’t have an onion or garlic—don’t worry … the original recipe just used some garlic salt. Out of peas? Substitute some broccoli, green beans, or asparagus instead. Not a fan of ham? Then skip meat all together or use some chicken. The bottom line is, use this recipe as a starting place and explore from there.

Enjoy! And get those kids cooking with you!

Simply Easy Creamy Pasta and Peas
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients:
  • 4 cups whole wheat pasta
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 oz. ham (optional)
  • 1-1½ cup frozen peas
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Optional Garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, warmed peas, fresh basil, tops of green onions
Instructions:
  1. Prepare pasta according to its directions.
  2. In a medium skillet add butter or olive oil and warm over medium heat. Then add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, ham (optional), and peas to the onions. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until warmed throughout.
  4. Drain pasta and return to its pot. Add sour cream and parmesan cheese. Stir until mixed thoroughly.
  5. Toss the onion and peas into the pasta.
  6. Serve and garnish as desired.
Notes:
We recommend using organic ingredients when possible.

If you prefer you can mix in a tablespoon of butter to the drained noodles before adding in the sour cream and parmesan. This helps the noodles from sticking together and also adds a little extra flavor.

 Kitchen Tips and Resources:

  • great, multipurpose colander is a must for every kitchen, especially when you’re making pasta! I bought this OXO Good Grips colander as a replacement for a really old plastic one that I had bought at a dollar store in the 90’s. Who knows what kind of weird plastics and hormone-disrupting chemicals were in that old one. Yikes! Maybe it’s time you invest in a new colander as well.
  • A great garlic press makes child’s play of mincing garlic. I love this top-rated one but there are lots of great alternatives out there at all sorts of kitchen, department, and discount stores.

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