This is classic Neapolitan fare: soupy, hearty, earthy and satisfying.

There are three different schools of thought on the pasta to be used: some prefer broken spaghetti, some tubetti and others mixed pasta shapes, which are the most traditional in Naples for this recipe. Mixed pasta is a combination of the last remaining pasta shapes you have in the bag; those small amounts that you don’t know what to do with. Naples has the answer: put them in a jar. Then add more, of a different shape, as you have extra of that, too. These days you are able to purchase mixed pasta, but it’s still more fun to collect them yourself—and far more frugal as well.

If you like, you could add diced cured meat, about 100 g, chopped; or a vegetarian equivalent.

  Time: 25 minutes
  Difficulty: easy
  Serves: 4


  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or as desired

  • optional: 1 glass dry white wine

  • 400 g canned peas, drained

  • 1 litre stock, either vegetable or meat

  • 250 g mixed pasta

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • a few mint leaves or basil leaves, for serving

  • optional: grated cheese, for serving


Gently sauté the onion in extra virgin olive oil until it is softened; pour in the white wine if using, and let it evaporate over medium heat.

Add the peas, stir and cook together for a couple of minutes, then add the stock. Bring to the boil.

Add the pasta and cook for about 10 minutes until it is just al dente; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with a few leaves of either mint or basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and if desired, a sprinkling of grated cheese.