Recipe: Pasta with Peas & Prosciutto… or not

I have gotten so many requests for this recipe that last week I just decided I was going to make it for dinner so I could take some photos and share the recipe once and for all. We also invited a friend of ours over for dinner because this pasta is nice enough to serve for company and also because I must be insane. Last week’s cold was actually a sinus infection so in addition to being unfocused and confused I spent each evening in agony with a sinus migraine. What better time to have company for dinner! Thanks to better living through chemistry, however, I was able to throw dinner together without much of a fuss. Except. I had forgotten something very very important at the store. Peas.

Bitch, peas.

I was distraught. I almost always have a package of peas in the freezer, if not five, but my sweet toddler has discovered a new found love, nay, adoration of peas, so we’ve been going through peas at an alarming rate. The pasta would taste delicious without the peas, but they are such a nice balance to the ham I urge you to use peas. In lieu of peas I turned to my favorite pantry staple, dried shiitake mushrooms. They were delicious and I would add them next time in a heartbeat, but not without the peas.


  • 2 tbs butter
  • 4 tbs onions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lemon, juiced & zest
  • 2 cups peas
  • 2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 oz pasta, I like gemelli for this
  • 1 package cured ham, such as prosciutto or copa
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese


1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about five minutes until they soften and release their oniony juices.

2. Add the broth and shiitake mushrooms and simmer until reduced a bit, about 2-3 minutes.

3.  Add cream, lemon zest and juice. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes, and add your peas. I find this sauce to be on the thin side, but if it’s too thick for your liking you can always add milk or more cream.

4. Cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water for a few minutes less than the package suggests. When time is up, drain your pasta and toss it in the sauce over heat until finished cooking.

5. Garnish each plate of pasta with generous gratings of Parmesan cheese and strips of ham.

I based this recipe on Creamy Pasta with Lemon and Prosciutto from Relish.

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  1. sonja says

    Just tried the recipe tonight! Absolutely loved it – thank you! Added more veggies and used while wheat pasta to make this a healthier option.

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