Pasta, Pizza, Risotto

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli

Loreto September 15, 2016

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Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli, a pasta well worth some attention. A  dish cooked al dente with organic produce such as peas and mushrooms with a base of caramelized onions and garlic, giving this recipe wonderful flavor and texture!

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli is a dish that I would enjoy any day of the week. Not only is it a quick and easy recipe to make, but it has such distinct flavors and diverse texture, that makes it visually beautiful and most enjoyable to eat.



I love the hustle and bustle of a farmers market. People passionate about food and organics. They join together during the week to support local growers creating great nutritional clean produce that will entice wonderful recipes to be developed and enjoyed. That being said Nicoletta and I are two of those that join that group every week usually on Saturdays and not always at the same market as we like to support many that we like, and also during the summer it is beautiful to be outside enjoying the wonderful sun and warm temperatures. There has to be compassion for this, as our winter -more so my winter as Nicoletta is usually in Italy for the winter- is long, dark, and cold.

I am a hands on type produce shopper. I like to feel the produce, smell it. It is part of my intuitive produce shopping experience. It usually works well and we are blessed with rich flavors, perfect in ripeness in fruit and vegetables. The peas and mushrooms we bought from the downtown 104th street market were just that. Peas sweet firm and so packed with that flavor. The mushrooms pungent and aromatic, silky yet firm texture, and that earthy backdrop just enough to remind us of the ground that blessed us with this edible fungus. I know a few people don’t really like mushrooms and to them I apologize for my passion for them. I am a sucker for any dish with mushrooms. Pizza, crostini, fettuccine, risotto, polenta; stuffed, sauteed, side dish for a juicy tender steak, or like this recipe infusing its flavors into the rigatoni with the peas, onion and garlic base.

My dad was a great mushroom finder. I remember my parents going out to find mushrooms, my father with a radar for edible mushrooms and poisonous ones that he said you should not even touch. We would always come home with a pail full of those delicious morsels of earthy goodness. I couldn’t wait for my dad to clean them and get that olive oil and garlic going in a pan. The mushrooms thrown in and a bit of white wine and thyme. I would be the first in line to get a taste, well, second, as my father was cooking and tasting. Did I tell you my father did a lot of the cooking in our house. This was a strange phenomenon, as in most of the Italians families fathers knew very little of cooking, mostly wine making, and cured meats. I always laugh at my god mother. She always says my god father can’t even boil water. I don’t know about that, I am always an optimist and believe in people’s abilities. I guess I inherited my father’s passion for cooking along with having to prepare things very young, as both my parents worked. Not a bad thing in my eyes. I actually find it to be a blessing.

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli

Back to the recipe. So we have some  wonderful mushrooms from Mona foods. Crimini, shiitake, oyster, enochi, and chanterel. My mouth is already salivating. A bit of onion, and a clove of garlic to infuse in that wonderful Italian gold, EVCPOOO, (extra virgin, cold pressed, organic olive oil). Of course we need a good pasta, here we used Rummo which we love. It has a wonderful texture to it, with that coarseness that is a wonderful place to house the flavors of the vegetables and oil. Some good parsley to garnish the pasta and give it some fresh color.

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli. The Process!

This recipe is so easy. All you need is a saute pan and a pot for the pasta to cook in. Nicoletta and I created this recipe together. Well, she mostly, as she knows these pasta recipes well, and is passionate about traditions in pasta development. Nicoletta cleaned the mushrooms washed and dried ready for sauteing. The peas she shucked, and with the leftover peas that we won’t be using she put in a well sealed Tupperware and into the freezer. We will use them soon as things in our freezer don’t go past a few weeks. I don’t like when food gets that freezer taste to it or develops that ice. Oil heating up in the saute pan, in goes the onions, garlic and peperoncino. Those cook till the onions are soft and translucent. In go the peas, fresh or frozen, and then the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper,  ad a couple of tablespoon of water into the pan with the peas and mushrooms, and let cook about 10 minutes on the timer. If you want to add cream, that is the time to do it. Let it reduce a bit and infuse in the vegetables. And that stage is done. Take off heat and set aside. In a medium pot bring a good amount of salted water to a boil. I say that there should be a good amount of water because then the pasta will cook evenly as its being tossed in the boiling water. Look on the package for cooking time and when that has been achieved take pasta off stove top and drain. Reserve some of the pasta water. This we may need if the pasta gets too dry while being mixed with the mushroom/pea mixture. Throw pasta into saute pan with the mushrooms and peas, turn heat to a medium setting and toss well. Add some of the pasta water or pour in a bit more of the cream, if needed, and just heat till pasta is nice and warm and creamy. We do not want to overcook the pasta. At the end chop up some fresh parsley and sprinkle over top and serve.

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli

You can regulate the amount of cream to your liking. I know some like it rich and creamy as others like more the simple flavors of the vegetables and pasta. You can even drizzle some olive oil. If you want, also some grated parmigiano can be used. We opted for just a drop of cream and not to use parmigiano, as we wanted to really taste the ingredients in this dish.

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli

The flavors are wonderful. The rigatoni with that nice slight nutty crunch. The ridges absorbing the cream infused with  the sweetness of the caramelized onion, the acidity of the garlic, the earthiness of the mushrooms in all its glory, and those peas, oh those peas, like candy for a child and that olive oil, pure gold, not forgetting fresh hits of pepperiness from the parsley and that touch of heat from the peperoncino. Each flavor taking its step forth presenting taste and texture, well balanced in a harmonious plate of Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli.


Song of the day: ” Indaco Dagli Occhi del Cielo.” by Zucchero. He is one of my favorite artist from Italy, with  a bluesy raspy sound.

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli

Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 200 g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 200 g mixed mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic, whole
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup cream (more, less, or none)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • few parsley leaves
  • 350 g rigatoni pasta
  • a sprinkle of parmigiano (optional)


  1. In a pan on the stove over medium heat put 2 tablespoons of e.v.o. oil, the chopped onion, the garlic whole and pinch of chili flakes.
  2. Add the peas (fresh or frozen), saute for a couple minutes, then add the mixed mushrooms.
  3. Cook for a few minutes, add salt and pepper, then add 2-3 tablespoons water and cook for 7-8 minutes with a lid. Then let the water evaporate removing the lid, add the cream and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Set aside the peas with mushrooms.
  4. In the meantime, cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water.
  5. At the recommended cooking time, drain the pasta leaving some of the cooking water.
  6. Add the pasta to the pan with the mushrooms and peas, and if too dry, add a little of the cooking water (or a bit more cream).
  7. Serve warm, with or without a sprinkle of parmigiano (we went without).
  8. Enjoy!


If you omit the splash of cream, it is a delicious vegan dish.


  • Serving Size: 3 servings
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Rigatoni Funghi e Piselli

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  • Avatar
    Reply Dawn - Girl Heart Food September 16, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Looks like the perfect comfort food! I love hands on shopping too. Some people don’t enjoy going to the grocery store, but it’s one of my favourite things to do….though, I better not go there hungry, lol 😀 I’ve never picked mushrooms before ’cause I’d be afraid of picking the wrong thing, but I sure do love to eat them! Those bowl are just the cutest too 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 19, 2016 at 12:44 am

      We would have to start a class, Hand on! a classic approach to modern produce shopping 101, lol. I am with you on not going shopping on an empty stomach, that would be lethal both for pocket book and weight. I would have to say I am not an expert on mushroom picking, that was definitely not passed down to me but I am grateful for the people like my father and Nicoletta’s father who are artisans on the art of mushroom picking, and get to enjoy the fruits of their labors.
      Have a great day, and happy shopping!

  • Avatar
    Reply Karen Ahmed September 16, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Looks simple and deeeelicious!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 19, 2016 at 12:39 am

      Hi Karen, thank you. It is so simple and truly delicious. I also like it the next day warmed up in a skillet, giving you a few crunchy bits and also so flavorful as it had a bit of time to mingle together with all those fantastic flavors.
      Cheers, and have a beautiful day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Dana September 16, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Loreto, this is stunning! I want you and Nicoletta to open up a little Italian restaurant, and I want to come work in it <3
    I've been super into pizzas and pastas with mushrooms as of late — this is right up my alley.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 19, 2016 at 12:37 am

      Hi Dana, thank you so much. If and when we open a restaurant you will be the first to know, and we would be delighted to hire you! Just hearing pizza and pasta with mushrooms has me feeling hungry and we just had breakfast as it is 8:30 am In Italy right know.
      Have a wonderful week!

  • Avatar
    Reply suki September 16, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Its lunch 😉 and nota good idea to have looked at this 😀 hungry!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 19, 2016 at 12:34 am

      Hi Suki, sorry for making you so hungry, but it is our job, and you have reassured us that we are doing well in that department. I don’t blame you for getting hungry I would be too. The pasta was so good infused with those morsels of mother nature goodness.
      Have a great day, and thank you for your comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply Annie September 16, 2016 at 9:40 am

    This is a recipe I’d definitely make on a weeknight! Thanks for sharing and glad I found your blog! 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 19, 2016 at 12:31 am

      Hi Annie, thank you for your endearing comment, we appreciate it so much. We work so hard everyday to give this blog our best and when we receive comments like yours it makes us feel that our work is well received, and accomplished. I think pasta dishes are great recipes for the week, so easy and quick to prepare, and I believe kids like them too, maybe with less vegetables, lol.
      Take care and a great week to you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Marisa September 16, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I love a good pasta dish! The peas and mushroom combination sounds delicious also a wonderful way for kids to have their veggies! Nothing beats choosing your own fruits and vegetables, it is the high light of my weekend😊

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 19, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Hi Marisa, thank you so much for commenting. Yes pasta is one of my favorites and I could say that I can eat it quite a few times a week. Especially ones like this one with the mushrooms and peas. So fresh and light and flavorful. Yes I totally understand the produce shopping experience, one of Nicoletta and my favorite things to do together.
      Have a fantastic week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Julia September 16, 2016 at 10:58 am

    After having been married now for almost 15 years, I just discovered my husband doesn’t like mushrooms! What? I use them all the time in sauces, soups, pasta, pizza………and he only just told me a few months back! He has been eating them in silence all these years. Clearly, I love mushrooms as well so share in your passion. The pasta dish looks great, flavorful, and easy.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 19, 2016 at 12:25 am

      Thank you Julia for your lovely comment. Wow your husband really loves you that much to eat what you make even if he did’t like the mushrooms, beautiful. I would be like him, I would rather endure something than hurt my Nicoletta’s feelings. Mushrooms are an acquired taste, not all of us have that palate for the muskiness and earthiness of this fungus. Another touchy one is truffles or as we call them in Italian, tartufo. It is a really strong flavoring so quantity is of utmost importance, but give me a pasta with truffles and I am a happy man. This pasta was awesome from the peas to the mushrooms and the pasta cooked just right.
      Have a wonderful day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sean September 16, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Beautiful, rustic, wonderful food. I’m something of a mushroom novice; I despised them in my youth and was unwilling to explore new varieties. Now that I’ve discovered deliciousness in the diversity of mushrooms, I want to learn more about using them and finding them in the wild. Your father’s knowledge and teaching is certainly something to be treasured. For that matter, I think we should treasure this pasta dish!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 19, 2016 at 12:19 am

      Thank you Sean, I truly cherish the moments with my father and his knowledge on various things. He passed the tradition of wine making also to me. He had a large vineyard in Italy. I am not a huge drinker but I love making wine, it is so peaceful and fulfilling, not to mention wonderful sharing it with others. Being in Italy right now we have so many to choose from but always fun to pair and try. I am with you on the mushroom thing when I was really young I didn’t like them and my mother put so much fear into eating them as they could be poisonous. But trusting my dad as I got older and watching him pick them reassured me that they were fine, and so began my adventure with mushrooms. This pasta dish exemplifies the flavoring of mushrooms and pasta and it is a favorite in many Italian homes here in Rome.
      Have a great week!

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