Food Network: Garlic-Tomato Pasta With Peas

What’s not to love? Garlic, peas, tomato paste… tomato paste?! When I was a kid, tomato paste meant bad biscuit pizzas cooked to long in the oven. Everyone else might have better memories of biscuit pizza.

Anyway, I cook this, with some tweaks, and my son eats it up. He only likes meatballs when it comes to spaghetti. This recipe he eats all of it, even the peas!

Garlic-Tomato Pasta With Peas

Active: 20 min (unless you have a broke old stove like me) | Total: 25 min | Serves 4 (or 6 my way)

You Will Need:

  • Kosher Salt (I like Sea Salt)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced (or minced to appease tiny people. I use freeze-dried and I hydrate them.)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste (honey, I use 2 cans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 10 ounces of angel hair pasta (or 12 if you don’t feel like sifting out two ounces)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, plus more for topping (I live in a food desert, I use dried or freeze-dried which is better for me because little eyes don’t notice, I use around 4 table spoons… I eyeball it truthfully. I hydrate it too.)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (about an ounce) (or you know, eyeball that too; I like cheese)

You have to understand it’s a very healthy recipe and my son and husband just aren’t interested. I tried it perfectly the first time, as written. They said it had no taste. Things with garlic should have taste. Otherwise it just isn’t natural.

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (I found you want to start the water 3 or so minutes before you start adding things to the pan). Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the edges start turning golden, about 1 minute (okay my son doesn’t let me stir ANYTHING constantly. Maybe it’s because it’s freeze-dried but I stir it some. The real stuff is fresh and I can see the need there, but the freeze dried stuff doesn’t turn anything until you cover it in tomato sauce). Add tomato paste to the skillet and cook, stirring 1 minute.Add the red pepper flakes, then add 1 1/2 (or 2) cups of the boiling water; stir to dissolve the tomato paste. Simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes,adding the (thawed in a cold bowl of water) peas halfway through. Season with salt. (Canned peas are atrocious, don’t even go there)
  2. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until softened but not cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Reserved 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain. (You might not need the water my way. The other way you will unless you desire cracked sticky pasta) Add the pasta to the skillet along with the basil; toss over medium heat adding more of the reserved cooking water if needed, until the pasta is al dente (my son likes mushy pasta so I boil it to al dente, the cook it in the sauce for a bit). Remove from the heat and stir in the 1/4 cup of parmesan (or just sprinkle the top…. okay dup a bunch until it looks like it snowed). Top each serving with basil and the remaining parmesan (or don’t, the rehydrated basil isn’t very nice as a garnish. My son thinks mozzarella is though).

Food Network’s looks amazing however…


Mine is preferred in my family.


Whatever you like, experiment!

Definitely try the original way first. It’s a nice dream per serving at 465 calories…. but my people just don’t like it that way. You can’t argue with these results:


So if they like it, they like it. Food Network has really broadened my meal making horizons. While I can’t say I make everything right, and I can’t say it’s always good (there was this potato salad that inspired takeout), I can say I find some good things more often than not.

Do you ever doctor/change recipes? If you do, please share! Everyone can always use a new meal to surprise folks with!

Food Network doesn’t even know I exist. They did not pay me to slaughter their original recipe. It’s delicious though. My way. 😉<<<<



  1. Flossie

    OMG, this recipe looks delish, but I love your devil-may-care “slaughtering” attitude toward the original, as well as the cheeky commentary to go with it! I will DEFINITELY be trying this sometime!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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