Pasta with Peas, Ham, and Cream is a quick and easy weeknight meal, perfect for when you’ve had a busy day, need to bring dinner together fast, and you happen to have some leftover ham on hand. Easter is coming, and it’s typically a time when a lot of people serve ham, and have some leftover meat. This is an absolutely delicious way to use that leftover cooked ham, and get dinner on the table in a hurry.
Before I share with you today’s information on how to use leftover ham, and the accompanying recipe for Pasta with Peas, Ham, and Cream, I’d like to back up a bit.
Money Saving Tips:
In my last post (which was on Feijoada: Brazilian Black Beans and Rice), I gave you some great money saving tips in regard to buying a HoneyBaked Ham Bone. I told you that I learned that I could enjoy the great flavor of a HoneyBaked Ham, and save a lot of money by buying only the ham bone, (rather than a whole ham), which HoneyBaked Hams tend to have an abundance of after the holidays. In particular, I’m referring to Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving, when they move a lot of product. (Although you might check right after Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day – any holiday where people tend to gather together.) After the holidays, if you’re really lucky, and they have a lot of leftover ham bones in their coolers, my local HoneyBaked Ham store offers a two-fer deal, which cuts your cost in half!) I wanted to show you, in this post, just how much ham we’re actually talking about.
I purchased 2 hambones the last time I was there, since my local store was offering the two-fer deal. The total weight and price of each ham was within pennies of being identical. The unit price was 2.29 a pound, and each ham weighed right around 4.3 pounds. Thus, each hambone was priced right around $10.00. With the two-fer deal, that made each one $5.00. And there was enough meat on each bone to get 2 full dinners using the meat, a couple of sandwiches, and one big pot of beans, by using the bone, and about a cup of leftover ham scraps. That’s 3 dinners, and a couple of lunches for $5.00. Worth searching out? You bet! (Here’s the other dinner recipe I alluded to, as well: Viennese Noodles with Ham, Sour Cream, and Alpine Cheddar.)
So, if you’d like to check out their locations, to see if they have a HoneyBaked Ham store near you, here’s a link to the Store Locator .
Now, on to today’s recipe. When my girlfriends came to visit me about a month ago, I served Pasta with Peas, Ham, and Cream to them, and sweet Robin asked for the recipe. I promised her I’d put it up on the blog, because it’s one I’ve been making for years, and my family really enjoys it, and it’s soooo easy to throw together.
I found the recipe on the epicurious website, when I watched Michael Lomanco make it, in 2002. He made his recipe with orecchiette, which is a pasta whose name means “little ears”. I’ve made this with orecchiette, but I’ve also used spaghetti, and many other types of decorative pasta. This time, I used campanelle. (That’s the pasta you’ll see in the photo.) A few weeks ago, I made it with cavatappi. My point is, the type of pasta really doesn’t matter with this dish which consists of a cream sauce, chunks of ham, and peas, so that’s why I titled the recipe with a generic term, “pasta”. Whatever kind you have will work fine: you can adapt as needed. When Robin was here, I had no peas, so I used whole sugar snap peas. And they worked great, too. I think edamame would also work. My point is, you’re going to make a very easy cream sauce, pour it over cooked pasta, throw in some ham, as well as a green veggie.
- 1 lb. pasta (I used campanelle)
- 3 T. butter
- 1/2 c. diced onion
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 1 c. honeybaked ham, cut into bite sized chunks
- 3/4 c. heavy cream
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions, in boiling water that is salty like the sea. (I use about 1 T. salt for a big pot of water.)
- Warm 1 T. of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the peas and the ham, and cook for a minute. Pour in the cream, bring to a low simmer, and simmer 5 minutes.
- Drain pasta. Put back in the pasta pot. Pour sauce over pasta, drop remaining butter into pot, and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano . Toss to coat, and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with additional grated Parm, if desired.