Pasta with Ham and Peas

We are using frozen peas because it's that time of year, but in the spring you could easily use fresh peas.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 3/4 pound fusili pasta
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced ham
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup of pasta cooking water (reserved from cooking the pasta)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest


1 Cook the pasta: Heat 4 quarts of water and 2 Tbsp salt in a large pot for the pasta. Once the water starts to boil, add the pasta and cook at a rolling boil, uncovered, until al dente, cooked through, but still a little firm to the bite (the low end of the cooking times given on the package). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2 Heat butter, add garlic, add ham and peas: While you are cooking the pasta, heat the butter in a medium skillet on medium heat until melted. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the ham and the frozen peas.

3 Add pasta water, cream, Parm, zest, salt, pepper to make sauce: Stir in 1 cup of the pasta cooking water which will help  thaw the peas. Stir in  1/2 cup of cream, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.

4 Toss pasta with sauce to serve: When the pasta is ready, toss it with the sauce in a serving bowl and serve.