There’s something about pasta that everyone loves. Is it the shape? The texture? The convenience? Either way, pasta is a staple food for Italians, and non-Italians, alike.
However, not every Italian pasta dish has to be super saucy, or meaty. In fact, in Italy, most are not. Yet, Americans have sort of associated pasta with a concoction of red sauce and meat.
I love this pasta because it’s warm, delicate, creamy, and colorful. I love the way the brightly colored carrots and peas contrast with the pasta. Everything in this dish is also bite-size, so it’s perfect for little ones just starting to eat on their own. Try this pasta dish for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.
Pastina with Peas and Carrots
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) pastina or other small-shaped pasta, such as farfallini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the carrots and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peas to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until the peas are warmed through and the carrots are tender. Stir in the cooked pasta. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheeses. Stir until the mixture is incorporated and forms a sauce. Season with salt, to taste. Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with chopped basil.
Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis