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person holding a bowl of bow tie pasta with ham and peas

Creamy Bow Tie Pasta with Ham and Peas

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x


Creamy bow tie pasta with ham and peas is an easy recipe to serve your family for dinner tonight.  Learn how to make this simple main dish that uses up leftover holiday ham.  Your kids will lick their plate clean.


  • 1 pound bow tie pasta (5 cups dried; 453g)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (30g)
  • 1/3 cup spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (30g)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipped cream (590 ml)
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (105g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 cup ham, cut into 1/4 inch strips (113g)
  • 1 cup peas, frozen or fresh (115g)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (42g)


  1. Cook the bow ties in a large pot of boiling water until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain.  Place the pasta in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons reserved water.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat, then saute the spring onion for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute one minute, until fragrant.
  3. Sprinkle the flour on the veggies, whisking constantly, and cook for one minute to get rid of the raw flour taste.  Gradually add the heavy cream while whisking until smooth.  Continue to whisk in the mascarpone, Parmesan, and the dry mustard to get a smooth sauce.  Add 1/4 cup of the reserved water.
  4. Add the ham and peas, and heat through, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat.  Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  6. Pour sauce over the pasta and mix well to coat.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  7. Garnish with reserved parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.  Serve warm.


  • Thin with pasta water or thicken with Parmesan cheese to get the sauce just right.
  • To help bind the sauce to the bow ties and to thin the sauce, use pasta water.
  • When reheating leftovers, watch carefully so sauce doesn't separate.  Whisk the sauce over medium low heat in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium low heat.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: ham and pasta recipes, pasta with ham and cheese