This all in one meal is a delicious combination of pasta with ham, peas, and just enough creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. It is a great way to use leftover ham and is sure to have everyone asking for seconds!
This pasta with ham and peas recipe is perfectly simple. It is a great way to use up some leftover ham and turn it into a comforting and delicious meal!
There is just enough cream and Parmesan cheese to bring it all together and the peas add a nice bright pop of color and sweet flavor. It is so simple to make and is a dinner the family will love!
Why is it that spring and winter always seem to have a bit of a battle this time of year? After a week of spring being in full force, winter is rearing it’s ugly head again.
It’s like spring came in and gave winter a punch right in the sweet spot. Winter was dazed and looked down for the count, but popped back up just in time to extend the match.
I don’t know about you, but I am ready for spring to stay. I’ve had enough of the back and forth between nice weather and cold. Our daffodils came out and bloomed and it snowed two days later.
Our blackberry bushes are getting leaves and our strawberry patch was greening up too. Hopefully the subsequent freeze didn’t set anything back too far. That weather man of ours likes to keep us on our toes!
All it takes is a few warm days and for the grass to start to green up and my tastes start to change. After a long winter of soups, casseroles and braises, I am now ready for quicker, fresher and easier meals.
Peas are one of those early spring vegetables that is always a favorite. There is something about a pod of sweet peas straight from the vine.
You don’t even have to cook them. Of course, that is a taste that is hard to come by and it is a bit early for them. But really frozen peas are a good substitute.
Ham is another dish that says spring to me. It isn’t necessarily an obvious spring choice, but with Easter coming up there is soon to be plenty of hams on people’s tables. This Simple Pasta with Peas, Ham and Cream would be a delicious way to use some of those Easter leftovers.
I love how simple and flavorful this dish turns out. The smell of the butter, onions, garlic and ham cooking draws you in. Luckily at that point you are just a handful of minutes away from a delicious meal.
Some dishes like this make a heavy sauce to coat everything. I wanted just enough cream to give a very light coating to everything.
To me the sweet fresh flavor of the peas and the salty savory ham should shine and not be masked by too much cream and cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love cream and cheese, but in some cases moderation actually is better. I am not the only one that likes it just like this.
Not a single one of us was super hungry when we sat down to eat, but all three of us had seconds. I quickly packaged up the leftovers in lunch sized containers to keep it for myself. Lunch this week is going to be delicious!
As you can see, this dish has become a spring tradition for us. If there is leftover ham around, this is bound to be on the menu.
Honestly, we eat it all year long! We always have frozen peas on hand, so any time there are some cubes of ham in the fridge this has a good chance of being on our dinner menu!
Can I make this recipe with more sauce?
Yes, as written this pasta dish has just enough sauce to lightly coat everything. For a saucier pasta try doubling the cream and the cheese or just add a little bit more until it looks the way you want it to.
How do I store leftover pasta?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They reheat great and even taste good cold as a pasta salad type dish.
Now I am wondering. What are some of your favorite spring dishes and flavors? Is there anything that really signifies spring for you?
Creamy Pasta with Ham and Cheese
- 16 oz pasta
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups ham cubed
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ⅔ cup cream
- 2 cups fresh or defrosted peas
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper
- optional: additional Parmesan for serving
- Boil noodles and cook to al dente according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion, ham, garlic and a pinch of black pepper and cook until onions are soft and translucent.
- Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in pasta and continue to simmer until pasta is coated. Add peas, stirring to combine and then remove from heat.
- Add Parmesan cheese and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with an additional grating of Parmesan if desired.