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4 medium onions (about 4 c sliced)

1 Tbl olive oil

4 cups fresh or frozen tiny green peas (1 lb)

1 lb orecchietti (little ear-shaped pasta) or

other small shell pasta

freshly grated Pecorino cheese (about 1 cup)

  • a sheep’s milk cheese with a sharp taste
  • Parmesan works too


Bring a large covered pot of water to a rapid boil. While the water heats, cut the onions in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into thin slices. Cut the slices in half lengthwise. Heat the olive oil in a skillet or saucepan and add the onions. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown. Add the peas and salt and pepper to taste and cook a few minutes longer. Add 2 Tbl of the hot water to the skillet, stir, reduce heat and cover.

When the pot of water boils, add the pasta, stir, and cover until the water boils again. Uncover the pot. As soon as the pasta is al dente, drain it and toss it with some of the grated Pecorino so the cheese melts on the pasta. Top with the peas and onions and serve immediately. Pass extra grated cheese at the table.

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