Pastina with Peas and Carrots

I saw Giada make this for her daughter’s one-year birthday party and thought it would be a perfect meal for my baby girl. She totally approves, along with her parents! ¬†She picked out all of the peas first, then ate the rest. How can you resist those tiny little bow ties? They are so cute. Along with this face.

And this one :)

This has a great tangy, creamy flavor and you only use half of the cream cheese and butter (or mascarpone) so you can make it again with the remaining ingredients.

1/2 pound (8 ounces) pastina or other small-shaped pasta, such as farfallini

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed

1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (I subbed butter because the tiniest container of mascarpone cheese was $5. No thanks! It tasted fabulous with the butter)

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the carrots and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peas to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until the peas are warmed through and the carrots are tender. Stir in the cooked pasta. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheeses. Stir until the mixture is incorporated and forms a sauce. Season with salt, to taste. Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with chopped basil.

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