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Farfalle pasta with ham and peas in a creamy sauce in a large cast iron skillet.
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5 from 7 votes

Creamy Ham, Peas, and Pasta

Creamy sauce tops pasta with ham and peas. A great recipe to use leftover holiday ham.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy pasta sauce, ham peas pasta, leftover ham recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
0 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 863kcal
Author Eileen Kelly


  • 8 ounces uncooked farfalle pasta or your favorite small pasta
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided into 1 and 3 Tablespoons Note 1
  • 1 shallot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning Note 2
  • ½ teaspoon salt Note 3
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper Note 2
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream Note 4
  • 1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup diced ham Note 4
  • pasta water Note
  • fresh parsley, optional garnish


  • Prepare the farfalle according to package directions, set aside
  • While pasta cooks, in a saute pan, over medium heat add 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (Note 1), let melt. Add in diced shallots, saute about 2 minutes to soften shallots.
  • Add in minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Continue to saute another few seconds to blend flavors. (Note 6)
  • Stir in the remaining butter (Note 1), let melt. Whisk in the flour, continue to whisk about 1 minute to blend flavors.
  • Whisk in heavy cream to blend. Cook and stir occasionally, about 5 minutes to thicken sauce.
  • Mix in the shredded cheese combo. Whisk to melt cheese, about 1 minute.
  • Gently stir in the peas, ham, and cooked farfalle. Simmer another minute to blend flavors and warm pasta, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste sauce for seasoning, adjust any, if needed.
  • Serve with chopped fresh parsley, optional.


Note 1: Use 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter to saute the shallots and garlic. The remaining 3 Tablespoons get added in with the flour to make a roux to thicken the sauce.
Note 2: Italian seasoning is my go-to for depth of flavor. You can vary dried herbs with what you have on hand such as dried basil or parsley. 
Note 3: Start with this amount, you may need more depending on your taste when you finish the recipe. 
Note 4: Half and half can be used for a lighter flavor.
Note 5 : Use leftover ham or purchase diced ham or a ham steak.
Note 6: Be sure to saute garlic quickly to blend flavors. Burnt garlic doesn't taste good at all.
Note 7:  The water that the pasta cooks in is valuable for any sauce that will be made for it.  Always reserve a cup or two of the water before draining the pasta. The pasta water adds flavor and can thin out the sauce if too thick.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 863kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 38g | Cholesterol: 235mg | Sodium: 1100mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2276IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 595mg | Iron: 2mg