This warm and hearty Italian potato pasta is the perfect answer to those cold fall and winter evenings at home. Its creamy sauce is packed with flavorful herbs and veggies, creating a nutritious and filling one-pot comfort food that the whole family will love!
❤️ Why you’ll love it
Also known as “pasta e patate alla napoletana” in Italy, this delicious potato pasta combines tender, boiled potatoes with garlic, rosemary, and tomato sauce to create a flavorful, fragrant, and creamy sauce. It is then combined with pasta of your choice before being tossed with green veggies, resulting in a nutritious and filling dish that is ready in less than an hour.
Until you have the chance to wander the charming streets of Italy and try one of the pasta restaurants in Rome, let this recipe bring the taste of Italy into your home.
This is a one-pot dish, so there is no need to worry about cleaning up many dishes once finished. You also need not blow your budget to make it, as its ingredients are simple and inexpensive. Potato pasta is just one of the budget-friendly recipes we feature in our Winter Vegan Cookbook.
🧾 Key ingredients
The ingredients to make this easy Italian potato pasta recipe are simple and budget-friendly. Many of its ingredients are everyday kitchen staples you may already have on hand. See the Variations section for more ingredients that you can add or substitute.
I recommend choosing Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes because they make a creamy, airy sauce. I also recommend peeling them. It is neater that way, especially in a pasta dish.
Tomato paste is added to give a flavor boost without overpowering the taste or thinning the texture. It has a quite concentrated tomato flavor, which is exactly what you need now.
Rosemary is the key ingredient to have an aromatic result. I love using it in Italian recipes. My sun-dried tomato pesto with rosemary is to swoon over.
Broccoli, green peas, and leek are there to add a bit of color to the dish. Italians eat it simply as potato sauce with pasta, but I like mixing it up. The more veggies, the merrier.
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Preparing the vegetables
Separately, boil the broccoli florets and frozen green peas for 2-3 minutes. Place them in cool water to prevent them from overcooking, then drain. Wash, peel, and slice the potatoes into quarters, then slice them again into ¼-inch (6mm) large cubes.
Making Italian potato pasta
Preheat a Dutch oven to medium heat. Add the olive oil and chopped leek. Cook for one minute.
Add the chopped garlic clove and continue to cook for another two minutes.
Add the diced potatoes, tomato paste, dried rosemary. Season to taste with the salt and black pepper and stir well.
Add two cups of hot water. Stir and cover the Dutch oven with the lid and cook for ten minutes.
Once the potatoes are soft, mash them with a fork. The sauce should be creamy with larger chunks of potatoes.
Add two more cups of hot water and the dry pasta to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You can stop here or add your favorite veggies. Once the pasta is done, add the pre-cooked broccoli, green peas, and nutritional yeast. Stir well and cook for two more minutes.
💡 Expert tip
If you find that the sauce is already thick, but the pasta still needs more time to cook, add more hot water. The sauce will still be very creamy in the end.
One of the best things about this Italian potato pasta is that there are many ways to customize it to fit your tastes and preferences. Here are a few suggestions:
Try it with other veggies such as diced carrots, celery, onion, zucchini, cauliflower, or leafy greens like spinach or kale.
Use different herbs and spices – Instead of rosemary, try it with thyme, basil, oregano, or bay leaf. Make sure to remove the bay leaf before serving!
Give your pasta a kick of spice with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or chili flakes.
🥣 Serving ideas
Because this dish contains potatoes and pasta, it is already quite hearty and filling and does not need additional sides to enjoy. However, if you want to make your meal even more complete, you can try one of these many serving ideas:
Serve it with warm breadsticks or a slice of cornbread or garlic bread.
Before serving, top it with basil or parsley to enhance the flavor. You can also top it with dairy-free mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese.
A fresh and crisp green salad perfectly complements a warm and hearty pasta dish.
I adore my 3-quart / 2.8-liter enameled Dutch oven, a staple in many of my soup and stew recipes. Unlike a regular stockpot, it ensures even heat distribution without uneven hot spots. Its non-stick surface minimizes the risk of food getting burnt or sticking, making cleanup a breeze.
If you don’t own a Dutch oven, any other sturdy pot or heavy-bottomed dish can be used. Just be cautious about stirring too frequently to prevent sticking.
❄️ Storing tips
Italian potato pasta has the best flavor and texture when served fresh. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them as follows:
In the refrigerator – Once cooled to room temperature, store your pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
In the freezer – I do not recommend freezing this dish.
Reheating – To reheat, add a couple of tablespoons of water and reheat on the stove until warm. You can also reheat it in the microwave.
Use floury, starchy potatoes such as Idaho, Russet, or white potato for the creamiest sauce. I do not recommend using sweet potatoes or butternut squash since they are high in sugar and will give the pasta a sweet taste.
Any pasta is suitable for potato pasta. However, I recommend penne, fusilli, farfalle, small shells, or elbow pasta for the best appearance. You can also use a mix of pasta types to make it even more fun and unique! The most important thing is ensuring the pasta has similar cooking times.
More pasta recipes
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Italian Potato Pasta
- Cook broccoli florets and frozen green peas for 2-3 minutes separately in boiling water. Cool them down in cold water to stop overcooking. Drain them.
- Cut potatoes into quarters and slice them ¼ inch (6 mm) large.
- Preheat a Dutch oven to medium heat. Add oil and chopped leek, and cook them for a minute.
- Add chopped garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
- Add potatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, and 2 cups hot water. Season with salt and black pepper and stir well.
- Cook it for 10 minutes, covered with the lid.
- Once the potatoes are soft, mash them with a fork. It will be a creamy sauce with larger chunks of potatoes.
- Add 2 cups hot water, dry pasta, and cook it for 10 minutes. Stir it occasionally.
- Once the pasta is ready, add pre-cooked broccoli, green peas, and nutritional yeast. Stir well and cook for two more minutes.