Bowtie Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Arugula

DinnerFavorite SpringItalianProsciutto

A lighter version of bowtie pasta with peas and prosciutto, no cream, but instead tossed with Parmesan, olive oil, and arugula.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Do you have a favorite pasta shape? For me it’s sort of a toss-up between angel hair and bowties. I love angel hair for the how delicate the pasta is and how easy it is to eat, and bowties because, well, they’re so cute.

Is that even a valid reason for liking a pasta shape? They are cute! They make any pasta dish look just a little bit fancy, like the pasta got all dressed up for a show. And each one is a perfect forkful size.

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Bowtie pasta, peas prosciutto, arugula

For this bowtie pasta dish, I started with a classic—bowties with peas and prosciutto—but ditched the cream sauce that usually accompanies this dish. Instead, I lightened it up a bit by tossing everything with olive oil, black pepper, and Parmesan and added fresh baby arugula for some peppery greens.

Wow! Prosciutto, arugula, peas, parm, pasta, pepper? Perfect! So good together.

Bowtie Farfalle Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, Arugula

It’s quick! It takes about as long to cook as it does to bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta. 30 minutes tops. Enjoy!

Bowtie Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Arugula Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4

Prep the ingredients while the pasta water is heating to save time.


  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) farfalle bowtie pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided, 1 Tbsp and 2 Tbsp)
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, thin slices separated and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 large handful baby arugula (about a cup and a half, packed)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves


1 Add pasta to boiling water to cook: Put 3 quarts of salted water (1/2 Tbsp of salt for every quart of water) onto a boil. Add the farfalle bowtie pasta and cook until al dente.

2 Gently cook prosciutto: Coat the bottom of a stick-free pan with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Lay out the pieces of prosciutto in the pan in a single layer. Put the heat on medium and gently cook while the pasta is cooking.

Turn the pieces over after a few minutes.

The intension is not to crisp, but to render some of the fat and firm up the prosciutto a little. When this has been accomplished, remove the pan from heat.

3 Set aside some pasta cooking water, add peas to pasta and cook an additional minute: Once the pasta has been cooking for the correct timing for al dente, remove one cup of pasta cooking water from the pan and set aside.

Add the peas and cook a minute more.

4 Add pasta, peas, Parmesan, black pepper to prosciutto, then add mint and arugula: Strain the pasta and peas and add to the pan with the prosciutto. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Add the black pepper.

Add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the fresh baby arugula and mint and toss with the hot pasta to wilt the arugula.

Add more of the pasta water if the pasta seems dry.

5 Drizzle with olive oil: Drizzle and toss with 2 Tbsp of olive oil to serve.

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Bowtie Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, Arugula

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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26 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Diane

    Elisa, I making this tomorrow to take the following day to a potluck lunch. Therefore, I’m going to serve it at room temp, like a pasta salad. What would you suggest as an acid to add a little gusto? I’m thinking just olive oil might be too bland. Lemon juice? White wine vinegar? Suggestions? Thanks!

  2. Walter Underwood

    We used orecchiette pasta, because we had it. The peas were very cute, nestling in the little hollows in the pasta.

    My wife doesn’t like mint, so I used fresh basil. Just as aromatic, but in a different direction. It was tasty.

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  3. Bex

    Made this tonight and it was delicious – and SO easy. Like seriously, I didn’t know I was capable of this kind of delicious-to-effort ratio.

    I subbed pancetta for prosciutto because that’s what was on hand and it worked just fine. Thought about skipping the mint but bought some and was really glad I did – didn’t add a “minty” flavor at all, just some extra brightness. Will absolutely be making again.

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Emily Bartram

    Elise, I made this with ham (crisped it a bit in a pan). It was great the first night, but I almost enjoyed it more as a cold pasta salad out of the fridge! Delicious!


    Show Replies (1)
  5. Nicole

    I’m really excited to try this! Making this for a friend for dinner who loves a light cheese flavor, but hates creamy pastas – this will be perfect.

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Bowtie Farfalle Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, ArugulaBowtie Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Arugula