By Martyn Herman
With rain showers forecast at Roland Garros the 31-year-old wasted no time on Court Suzanne Lenglen after saving four break points in the first game against the 78th-ranked Pella.
Once that early danger had been snuffed out Nadal offered up a masterclass against his fellow left-hander and his forehand was too hot for Pella to handle.
The Spanish world number one has now won his last 27 sets at Roland Garros, having captured a 10th title last year without dropping a set.
Next in the firing line for Nadal is Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)