Grandma's Conchiglie and Piselli Italian Zuppa Recipe

Saturday, January 14, 2012
This is Italian Style Peas and Baby Shell Pasta, growing up Grandma made this often, and we loved it.

Back in Rome, Italy where she grew up, she said this was referred to as "depression day food".A meal that fed a lot of family and friends cheaply and today it's to be a rare find on any menu but still cheap to make.

This meal continues to adorn our tables no matter what time period was in as long as I am alive.

I will always remember the aroma of that garlic sauteed in oil coming home from school.

Grandma lived with us, she made everything taste like it was a banquet feast.

Her simple economical and easy-to-make peas and pasta is a divine meal and no back seat to a fantastic one of her home-cooked meals.

Perfect to warm you up in those Central N.Y. chilly snow months, back in Utica, New York, her memory will live on in our kitchens.

Thanks, Grandma Victoria we love this one and miss your special love that went into every pot!

Although everything she made was awesome, made from scratch this is a favorite when you love pasta and peas, together it's music to our ears in flavor.

Easy to Make Step by Step

  1. chop the vegetables fine
  2. saute in oil
  3. add the tomatoes and peas and all sauce ingredients
  4. simmer
  5. cook the pasta separate
  6. add the drained pasta to the sauce
  7. serve with grated cheese and basil on top (red hot pepper flakes if you like also)

Some of Our Other Recipes To Try

Eggplant Parmesan

Zucchini Rollatini

Eggplant Boats

Pasta Primevara Sauce

Bolognese Sauce

Scampi or Alfredo Sauce

Grandma's Said This is How We Made This in the Old Country

Grandma always said this is the way we did it in the old country meaning Rome, Italy.

Very simply made all in one pot, pasta, peas, lots of flavor, and lots of Tuscan Garlic Bread were served with any meal.

We love this meal and if you don't care for peas use another bean!

Trying to write a recipe step by step by just watching at 11 years old was not easy, but here after all these years later we got this right and Grandma's simple recipe.

Grandma's Conchiglie and Piselli Italian Zuppa Recipe

Grandma's Conchiglie and Piselli Italian Zuppa Recipe

Yield: 10
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Prep time: 12 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 12 M
This is an Italian pasta, peas, and tomato sauce recipe.


  • Place the 3 ingredients below in a food processor (they didn't have them back then so everything was chopped fine by hand)
  • 3 cloves of cleaned garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh celery leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Puree till a fine mixture.
  • Saute:
  • In a large deep saucepan, add the oil mixture on low heat, saute for 1 minute, next add:
  • 2 (14 to 15 oz size) cans of peas, saute peas till starting to brown.
  • Add:
  • 1/2 teaspoon each fresh if possible but dried is fine, parsley, basil, garlic powder, oregano
  • 1 small can of tomato paste then fill the can with white wine to stir out the leftover paste
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups of fresh chopped whole tomatoes or fresh plum tomatoes pureed in a food processor
  • Cook until sauce thickens around 1 hour on a low simmer.
  • Baby shell pasta:
  • Add a 1 lb box of baby shell pasta to a pot of salted boiling water and drained.
  • Note: we like it with a little bite called Al dente make it how you prefer your pasta cooked.


  1. Saute the vegetable first from the food processor.
  2. Add all the sauce ingredients.
  3. Simmer the sauce 1 hour.
  4. Cook the pasta in salted water.
  5. Add the drained pasta to the sauce mix, and serve with grated cheese and fresh basil on top.
pasta, peas, and tomato sauce, pasta and peas, conchiglie and pasta
one pan meal, depression food, pasta recipes,peas recipes, tomato sauce recipes


  1. This is a great way to get peas in the diet! I would have never thought of putting them into an italian dish. Perhaps that is why Grandma Victoria lived such a long life-squeezing in healthy ingredients to hearty dishes like this. Claudia-you have such a rich heritage! I am glad that you have retained so many treasured recipes like this and shared them with us. Enjoy the weekend. XOXO

  2. Grandmothers' recipes never disappoint. This soup sound delicious. Bye bye, have a good week end

  3. It's interesting to me that now - the depression day diet is one of my favorite ways to eat. Not just economical but so comforting. Grandma knew best. Love the photos - especially the bonnets - remember bonnets?

  4. This is good comfort food and good on the budget also. Grandma's are the best and I'm glad this dish has wonderful memories for you!

  5. You are so lucky to have so many treasured family recipes! Thanks for sharing one of your grandma's best!

  6. This looks like a fantastic dish - I find peas to be not used to their full potential in many American dishes.
    Your grandma sounds like a wonderful lady, and it's really amazing how many recipes your family seems to have kept over generations. I wish I had as many!

  7. Amazing! Both the grandma and the recipe. She must have been a very special person to still inspire you over 30 years after she passed away.

  8. What a wonderful sentimental post, Your grandma was an exceptional person and so is this dish. I love peas anyway but I also liked the photos.

  9. Peas and pasta - such a comfort! Looking at your grandma reminds me so much of my own - I see such similarities!

  10. Peas and pasta, or peas and rice, have always been the ultimate comfort dish of all times!
    So nice, that you have so many treasured memories of your family!
    Grandmothers are so special...and never, ever, forgotten!
    Love your yummy pasta dish:DDD

  11. Dear Claudia, Wonderful dish. I enjoyed this often as a little girl. Adorable photo of you. It is wonderful how memories warm our kitchens. Blessings my dear. Catherine xo

  12. This classic is one never to be forgotten! These photos are simply lovely.

  13. I love these handed down recipes that are tried-and-true and laced with love. It looks absolutely delicious.


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