Farfalle with peas, ham, and cream. Quick and easy Italian dinner recipes can be made in less than 20 minutes.

One of my favorite times of the year to make this dish is just after a big holiday when the ham is served. I used the ham to add to this dish.

Not only it helps me finish some leftovers, It also makes for a great break from all the heavy eating.  I call it transitional cooking.

This wonderful creamy farfalle pasta recipe is super simple to make and a great way to use any leftover ham that you may have.

I selected farfalle, or bow ties, not because they are my favorite pasta, but because the sauce sits nicely in the tiny bow part of the pasta, thus allowing you to get all the beautiful flavors.

Penne or rigatoni is an excellent alternate choice.

Whichever past you choose, make sure that it is tubular. I enjoy cooking pasta al dente or to the bite.

The sweetness of the peas brings an outstanding balance with the saltiness of the ham. The cream brings it all together.

Add more cheese, as it will thicken the sauce a bit. You do not want a runny sauce, but it should neither too thick.

I strongly do not recommend using almond milk or coconut milk, either.

farfalle with peas, ham, and cream


Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed

Farfalle pasta: My favorite pasta is De Cecco. Raised with it and love the large selection of shapes. I love farfalle, penne, rigatoni and orecchiette will be good too. You want pasta that can hold the sauce. That is the fun of this recipe.

Peas: if using frozen, let them thaw before cooking with them. Peas in a can, and rinse them under cold running water before adding them to the sauce.

Unsalted Butter: You know me by now, I do not like to overall my food; therefore, I always use unsalted butter.

Slices of ham: Cooked ham or any leftover ham that you will cut into small bite-size pieces.

Heavy cream: make sure it is heavy whipping cream. It will create the perfect creamy farfalle pasta recipe.

Parmesan cheese: Grated fresh is always the best.

Equipment you will need

Large pot to cook the pasta



Cooking utensils


Serving pasta dishes

Cooking tips and step-by-step to make this fantastic creamy Farfalle with Peas, Ham, and Cream recipe.

Bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, you can start cooking the peas, ham, and cream sauce.  As they say in Italy, pasta does not wait for you. You wait for it.

  • While cooking the pasta start preparing the peas, ham, and cream sauce. Use a large skillet that you can add to the cooked pasta when they are done.
  • Use a large pot of salted water for cooking your farfalle pasta.
  • Cook the pasta al dente, meaning drain the pasta a few minutes before it is fully cooked. They will continue the cooking process when with the cream. You do not want overcooked pasta, trust me.
  • Before draining the farfalle pasta, save a cup of the cooking water. This will help to thin the sauce if need be. The cooking water contains natural starch.
  • You are more than welcome to use frozen green peas; if you have fresh ones, do not hesitate. The flavor will not be compromised.
  • Once the pasta is done,  drain and add it to the cream sauce, it will finish cooking.
  • It is not necessary to add olive oil to the cooking water.
  • Be very generous with the cheese over the pasta before serving. It gives a tremendous extra deep flavor.

farfalle with peas, ham, and cream

Variations  and substitution suggestions

  • Instead of baked ham, you can replace it with prosciutto. Although a great combination, beware of not over-salting your dish, as the prosciutto is cured with salt and thus more salty by nature.
  • You can substitute the heavy cream with whole milk to make this dish lighter.
  • Add some small chopped onion to the cream. Cook them to a translucent point before adding them to the pasta.
  • Peas in a can are the accepted replace the frozen.
  • Have leftover chicken? cut it is small pieces and add it instead of the ham.
  • I used Parmigiano Reggiano. You can replace it with pecorino romano.

You can use any tubular pasta with this dish. You want the sauce to be absorbed by the pasta. The cream balances the peas’ sweetness and the ham’s saltiness.

Great for any night of the week. Remember, the pasta will not wait for you. You must wait for it. Enjoy it warm soon after coming out of the stove.

farfalle with peas, ham, and cream

If you enjoy this delicious farfalle pasta recipe, look at some of my favorites. 

Burrata Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes and Fettuccine
Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart
Orecchiette with Sausage and Tomatoes

Products and Equipment used to make Farfalle with Peas, Ham, and Cream.

Farfalle with Peas, Ham, and Cream

5 from 7 votes
farfalle with peas, ham, and cream
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Quick and easy Italian dinner recipes can be made in less than 20 minutes.


  • 1 pound pasta 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • 1 cup peas 1 cup of peas
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 4 slices ham 3 to 4 slices ham
  • ½ cup heavy cream 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  • Cook pasta n an abundant large pot of salted water according to package directions.
  • In a skillet add the peas, butter, ham. Sautee for 5 minutes. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and cook under medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cream is slightly becoming thick. Remove from heat.
  • When the pasta is cooked and drained, return to the pan and add the sauce. Stir well and add the cheese.
  • Serve nice and hot.


Calories: 671kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 552mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 810IU | Vitamin C: 14.5mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Giangi's Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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