Peas & shells alfredo {recipe review}

By | March 5, 2013


This is the first in a series of recipes that I’ll be testing and sharing from Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Deb’s ridiculously popular blog gets millions of page views every month (10 million in November!), so if you somehow haven’t yet seen it…you should probably take a peek.

I’m kind of exploding with love for this alfredo. It was even richer, even creamier, than the full-page photo in the book suggests. It was satisfying, it was comforting, it was fun. Because Deb is right: The way the peas nestle inside the cheesy pasta shells is downright charming.


The first thing I noticed in the ingredient list is that the recipe uses just half a pound of pasta. Even for the two of us, I never make less than a pound at a time. (Leftovers never last long, anyway.) So I knew I was going to double everything.

I did a few other things differently, too: I used more peas, replaced some of the cream with 1% milk (and didn’t even miss it), went with mozzarella instead of Parmesan because, let’s face it, it’s cheaper, and skipped the fresh parsley finish (it seemed beside the point for an alfredo). Each of my tweaks totally worked. And I’d make it exactly that way next time, too.


The only problem with this alfredo is that you’re liable to eat too much in one sitting. When each forkful is as good as this, it’s just really hard to stop.

If you do manage to save some for the next day, good news: Peas and shells alfredo happens to reheat really nicely when you nudge it along with a drizzle or two of milk.

Recipe at a glance:

  • Accessible ingredients? Yes, though I prefer using mozzarella instead of the more expensive Parmesan.
  • Multiple steps required? Nope. You just boil the pasta and peas, make the sauce, and mix them together.
  • Left with lots of dirty dishes? One of the best things about this recipe is that you only dirty one pot (okay, and one strainer).
  • Taste worth the effort? Absolutely.
  • Make again? Definitely, and I’ll probably try it with other pasta shapes and vegetables, too.

One year ago: Marinated eggplant salad

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Abigail on March 5, 2013 at 11:47 am.

If only I would have known this was sitting in your fridge last night! On the way home I said to Gidi I really fancied cheesey sauce and pasta. Sounds delicious. I’m definitely looking forward to cooking a few more exciting things after Pesach!


Hindy on March 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm.

This is one of my favorite comfort food recipes! Loving that cookbook!


stephanie/the kosher foodies on March 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm.

i considered making this with different pasta, since i never buy shells, but i love how the peas get caught inside, yum!


jessica // the kosher foodies on March 12, 2013 at 3:17 am.

this looks amazing and simple! my family would love it.


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