Table for One: Bow Ties with Peas, Onions and Parmesan

by Sarah on March 7, 2011

When you’re not cooking for others, it’s easy to skimp when there’s no one else around.  Frozen dinner, take-out, a piece of toast….sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it to go to a lot of trouble for just one person.  Once in a while though, take the time.  Not much, but enough to fix a small and satisfying meal that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Just a little something like this pasta, made from scraps really.   Just a few things laying forgotten in the back of the fridge, put together like joining the pieces of a puzzle.

  • frozen peas that once iced the knee of my child
  • toasted and buttered breadcrumbs that I prepared for someone else’s party
  • a leftover half an onion, found hiding behind the carton of milk
  • a splash of half-and-half, bought for last week’s dinner party
  • the leftover bits of Parmesan cheese, used for Guido’s bolognese

Table for One: Bow Ties with Peas, Onions and Parmesan


  • 1/4 cup bow tie pasta (farfalle)
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp half-and-half
  • 2 Tbsp toasted and buttered breadcrumbs (such as Panko)
  • olive oil, salt, pepper


  • Put a pot of salted water on high heat and cook pasta according to package directions to al dente doneness.
  • In a saute pan over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add peas and season with salt and pepper. When the vegetables are heated through and the pasta is cooked, add the bow ties to the saute pan and turn the heat up a little. Add a splash of the half-and-half and the Parmesan. Stir until the moisture thickens. If it's too thick, use a little of the pasta water to thin it out.
  • Taste again and re-season with salt and pepper and Parmesan. Top with toasted breadcrumbs.

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