Monday, August 3, 2009

Mom's Macaroni and Peas


Guess what! I am blogging from my couch! Usually I'm blogging from my uncomfortable computer chair in our home office but today I'm not. Today I am blogging from my couch! You see, friday was my 29th birthday and Steve really pays attention. He listens to me when I complain about how uncomfortable I am in the office. He really hears me when I say life would be so much better if I had a laptop so I could blog from our living room. These were not birthday hints mind you. I was 100% complaining! I really didn't expect him to go out and buy me one so you can imagine how excited I was when I opened the perfectly wrapped gift (you should know that Steve is an awesome gift wrapper and often gives in to my begging and wraps all my Christmas gifts!)and saw DELL on the box! So here I am, blogging, from my couch...well club chair. I guess I should get to it already!

When I was a child my mom liked to make this version of Macaroni and Peas. I say this version because my Aunt Maryann taught me how to make a "White" version when I wanted to venture away from recipes involving red sauce. You see, my Mom always was a great cook and she made a mean Sunday Sauce and there was no doubt from her cooking that she liked her red sauce. Her meatloaf was made with a red sauce (it was like a loaf shaped meatball), her stuffed peppers were made with a red sauce (meatball inside a pepper)and her macaroni and peas were made with a red get the idea. Well yesterday I got the craving for my mom's version of macaroni and peas. I can't believe that when I was a child I actually complained about this. It wasn't that I didn't like it, I loved it, but I was bit by the culinary bug and I needed a little versatility. I'd like to think that now that I'm all grown up I have taught my mom a thing or two she didn't know about cooking. She taught me all she knew and as I learn I try to teach her. Am I right, Mom? Anyway, I'm really going off topic here. This is a delicious and simple dish. Another one that you can pull right out of the pantry as my mother often did. So thank you mom for teaching me to make something that 15 years I'm still craving.

Mom's Macaroni and Peas


1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
handful fresh basil, torn (use frozen or dried if you don't have fresh)
1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can LeSeueur Peas (substitute frozen if you like)
salt and pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. romano cheese
1 pound small pasta such as medium shells, ditalini, etc.
extra virgin olive oil


Saute onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil until soft. Add crushed pepper and dried or frozen basil (if using). Add tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and sugar. Let cook for about 25 -30 minutes. Add peas. If you're using canned peas use the juice from the can to thin out the sauce. (This should be a loose sauce but not soupy. Use as much or as little liquid as you like. If using frozen peas add some of the starchy pasta water to thin out the sauce.) Let cook for another 10 minutes on low
to combine flavor of peas with sauce. Add romano cheese, taste and adjust seasoning.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Toss pasta with sauce adding more pasta water if it's too thick. Top with grated cheese.


Michelle said...

Happy Birthday (again) and what an amazing gift!!

This looks like a great comfort-food recipe - love it!

Theresa said...

Happy Birthday again too! Maybe my complaining will get me a new laptop for the same reason when my birthday rolls around next month. And as for this dish, I never complained when my mother made it. Always looked forward to it. Yum.

gioiamia said...

Oh Michelle, this is a classic... my family's favorite thing my mom cooks... but she also puts half moon slices of pepperoni in it too...... Yum, now I have to buy pepperoni to make it this week!

Superchef said...

happy (belated) birthday!! Hope you had a fun day :)

n what a great gift!!

Denise said...

This is one of my sisters familys favorites. It looks so perfect for a brisk fall day or a day when you are snowed in.

Patti T. said...

What a great gift, I know it will make your life easier. This recipe sounds like pure comfort food, mmmmm.

Michele said...

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!

Denise - It certainly is but I can eat pasta any day of year. Up until I moved out of the house we still had pasta every Sunday and every Thursday, even in the summer!

Bob said...

Happy belated birthday. :) Heh, you should see my gift wrapping skills. Looks like a drunk, one handed monkey went at it.

Danielle said...

congrats on your wonderful birthday gift!! I know you'll get lots of use out of it.

Your moms mac and peas looks really good! I've never put peas in my pasta dish before. I'll have to give this one a try. :)

Spryte said...

Yay for couch blogging!!!

That pasta looks tasty too!! I think Bobby (mr picky pants) would really like it!

Culinary Alchemist said...

Easy "Peasy" Macaroni... Looks Absolutely delicious.. Congratulations on your new techno-baby.. :)

Stacey Snacks said...

I love peas in any pasta dish, especially with sausage!
Hey, happy birthday!
we never had that drink!

cmbrigham said...

I log on to your website (my new favorite) for the 1st time from home. Usually I sneak on for a min or so while at work. To my surprise your site has sound! And the song playing is "Angelina" The name of my beautiful, sorely missed mother. Macaroni and peas was a staple in our family and one of my favorite dishes. Pasta Piselli it's official name, which until a few months ago I had always called pasta fahzeel. It is a common practice for NY Italians to drop the last vowel from words. Anyway, great dish, sure does bring back memories! Thanks

Michele said...

CM - Thanks so much for the compliment! It really means a lot to me! My grandmother called it the same as you. You're 100% right about the vowel thing. Italian American is a culture in itself, isn't it? Thanks for reading!

Christine said...

I would love the recipe for the "white" version of macaroni and peas, never had that before.

Michele said...

Christine - I promise it's coming soon!

Julie said...

Would love to have the white version too! I just stumbled on your blog - love it!!