Penne with Smoked Ham, Peas, and Mint

  • Rating:
Fresh mint, a classic pairing with peas, brightens this creamy pasta dish.


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 lb. sliced smoked ham, cut crosswise into 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh green peas (from 1-1/2 lb. peas in the pod) or thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 lb. dried mini penne
  • 2-1/2 oz. feta, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint


Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the ham and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Add the peas, turn the heat down to medium, and simmer, stirring often, until the peas are cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.

Toss with the sauce, half of the cheese, and half of the mint, adding some of the reserved pasta water, if needed, to make a creamy sauce. Divide among 4 plates and top with the remaining cheese and mint.