Ditale in Italian means “thimble,” and hence the name of this delightful little tubular pasta. It is great in soups, but even better when baked. This dish is like a pasta pudding—a savory dish with all the luxury of dessert.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pot
- 1 pound ditalini
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed and drained
- 1½ cups grated Grana Padano
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a -4–quart rectangular baking dish, and coat with the breadcrumbs, tapping out any excess.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the ditalini, and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse, let cool, and shake dry.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt. Add the cream and milk slowly, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the pasta, peas, and 1 cup of the grated cheese. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of grated cheese. Bake until the custard is set, about 40 minutes.
Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.