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  • Writer's pictureLydia Gerratt

Pasta with prosciutto, peas and cream

Pasta with prosciutto, peas and cream

This pasta sauce would normally be made in the summer when peas are in season, but when frozen peas are a million times better than fresh this dish tastes fabulous all year round.

Ham with peas and cream is a classic Italian pasta sauce. Though as with all Italian recipes I found a lot of variations with the type of ham you can use. Many insist on prosciutto, but quite few use lovely chunks of fresh ham – use whatever you prefer.

The whole dish is done once the pasta is cooked (as short as 12 minutes!) as the prosciutto, peas and cream only need to be barely cooked, well just heated up really.

Miraculous ingredients: Petits pois peas (frozen), prosciutto, fresh mint leaves, pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan)

Pasta with prosciutto, peas and cream


300g frozen petits pois peas

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

8 slices of prosciutto, torn into small pieces (I love smoked prosciutto)

300ml single cream

10g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

400g pasta – short shapes work best; cappelleti, farfalle, penne

Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to serve


Place a large pan that can hold 3 litres of water onto a high heat. When the water starts to boil add a teaspoon of salt and all the pasta.

Put a dry medium size frying pan on a low heat to warm up as you get the ingredients ready.

Microwave the frozen pea for 4 minutes on high in a bowl covered with a piece of kitchen paper.

Add the extra virgin olive oil to the warm pan, turn the heat to medium and fry the chopped garlic for about 20 seconds. Do not let it brown and release any bitterness.

Add the microwaved peas, torn pieces of prosciutto and finely chopped mint. Stir well. Pour in the single cream, stir and turn the heat down to low. Let the sauce heat through for a couple of minutes so the flavours meld together. You only want to bring the cream to a gentle simmer as the sauce ingredients don’t need to be cooked, just heated up for a couple of minutes. Next, turn off the heat.

When the pasta is cooked al dente (soft on the outside but slightly hard in the middle), lift it out of its water with a pasta spoon and put it directly into the pan with the prosciutto, peas and cream. Add a 3-4 tablespoons of pasta water to help create a sauce (the starch in the pasta water thickens the sauce).

Serve immediately with lots of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Preparation time 5 minutes, cooking 12 minutes, 2 adult portions, 2 child portions

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