Creamy Pasta with Ham and Peas

If you have teenagers who eat a lot, keep this one in heavy rotation and add a soft, squishy loaf of Italian bread to round it out. At our house, this recipe serves 4 (along with bread) with enough left over for someone’s lunch the next day. In about 20 minutes, you will have the meal ready. Enlist some help from the surly teenagers and have them set the table while you pour yourself a glass of wine.

Creamy Pasta with Ham and Peas
(serves 6)

1(16 oz.)box pasta such as penne or rotini
3 oz. (half a package) Canadian Bacon, diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons AP flour
1 cup milk
2 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon dried mustard
1 cup frozen peas (still frozen or thawed)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for the table

Heat water to boil box of pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions (al dente, about 9 minutes.)

While the pasta is boiling, add Canadian Bacon and butter to a large pot. Heat over medium until edges of bacon begin to crisp and butter is melted. Add flour and stir to incorporate. Cook mixture for 5 minutes. Slowly add milk, a little at a time and incorporate with a whisk. Add more milk as mixture begins to thicken. Add cream cheese and stir to combine until it is melted into the sauce. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and mustard. Stir. Add peas and heat through. If mixture gets too thick, add  pasta water from pasta pot a few tablespoons at a time. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain pasta once it is finished cooking. Add drained pasta to sauce. Mix to combine. Add Parmesan, a little at a time and mix gently to distribute evenly. Add more pasta water if needed. Serve immediately with more Parmesan on the side.

This entry was posted in cheese, Dinner, pasta by Andrea. Bookmark the permalink.

About Andrea

Hi I'm Andrea I love to cook and bake for my friends and loved ones. Especially comforting foods such as soup and bread and don't forget the sweet treats! I live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts in a coastal New England town where life is dictated by the seasons: going to the beach in the summer and shoveling snow in the wintertime. I am lucky to have my days revolve around my family: I have two children, a husband and a dog. My parents live right down the street in the house where I grew up. Life is good here and I always want to share it through a delicious meal and a friendly gathering. So, get out your soup pot and your baking pans and gather up your ingredients. Let's cook up some magic together!

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