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Pea Pasta

This delicious pasta uses a not-so-well-known vegetable, fennel. I really enjoyed it as fennel is a crisp vegetable. I think that children would love it as it has a very mild flavour and remains a bit crunchy. Failing this, you could substitute pumpkin or sweet potato. Do give it a try!


  • 1 heaped teaspoon salt
  • 1 quantity capunti pasta (Any small shells will work)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered, then each quarter cut crossways into slices
  • 1 – 2 cups of peas (You can use frozen in whatever quantity you prefer)
  • 1 bunch of seasonal greens (such as baby spinach leaves, silverbeet, rainbow chard, cabbage, kale or warrigal greens), including stalks, roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 200g fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces or 200gms shaved parmesan
  • Extra-virgin olive oil or lemon-infused olive oil, to drizzle


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat and add a heaped teaspoon of salt – your pasta water should taste like salty seawater.
  2. Once the capunti are in the pot, time them for 8 minutes. They may take an extra 2 minutes.
  3. Set the colander in the empty sink ready for a fast drain.
  4. Test the capunti to see if they are ready. If so, drain in the colander, giving it a big shake to remove excess water. The pasta can sit happily in the hot empty pot until the sauce is ready.


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and fry for about 2 minutes, until well softened.
  3. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for about a minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the fennel to the pan, reduce the heat to low, then cover and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.
  5. Toss the peas and greens into the pan with the fennel and onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes more, still on low heat and still covered.
  6. Test a piece of fennel to be sure it is tender, then season with salt and pepper, and add the parsley.
  7. Fold the sauce through the cooked pasta. Scatter over the torn pieces of mozzarella or shaved parmesan if you prefer after serving in heated serving dishes. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil or lemon-infused olive oil.

Serves 6-8

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