Ham and peas bow tie pasta is a fast and easy weeknight dinner staple. It is a versatile recipe that is very forgiving. If your household is full of ham lovers, you can easily add more ham. Not a lover of peas? Substitute it for small broccoli crowns or spinach. Don’t have mascarpone in the fridge? Substitute it for cream cheese.
This quick pasta dish is very creamy due to the heavy cream and the mascarpone cheese. The lemony flavor from the freshly squeezed lemon juice and grated lemon zest brings a brightness to this classic dish. Nutmeg, dry mustard, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper are the five spices that are needed to get the flavors just right. Garnish with fresh parsley and a generous sprinkle of any hard cheese you have on hand: Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago.
Ham and peas bow tie pasta is a versatile weeknight dish that is sure to please your whole family with its creamy lemony sauce, nutmeg, and fresh parsley.
- 1 pound bow tie pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup spring onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 4 ounces of ham, cut into 1/4 inch strips
- 1 cup peas
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, heaping
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
- 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup Romano, Parmesan, or Asiago cheese, freshly grated
- Cook the bow tie pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water. Drain. Place the pasta in a large bowl and toss with two tablespoons of pasta water.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter, then saute the onion and garlic until soft but not brown.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for one minute. Gradually add the heavy cream while whisking until smooth. Continue to whisk in the cream cheese or mascarpone and the dry mustard.
- Add the ham and peas, and heat through, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Pour sauce over the pasta and mix well to coat the pasta. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
- Garnish with reserved parsley and grated Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese. Serve warm.
- Substitute mascarpone cheese for cream cheese. Peas for small broccoli crowns or spinach.
- Feel free to double the ham in this recipe to 8 ounces. The ham can be cut into long strips or cubed.