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Penne with Smoked Ham, Peas, and Mint

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

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

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 520
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 24
  • Saturated Fat (g): 11
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 65
  • Sodium (mg): 690
  • Carbohydrates (g): 56
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 20


  • 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.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • mmcculla | 06/19/2014

    This was just average

  • ellen_in_charlotte | 06/16/2014

    Very good but not outstanding; with a few tweaks it could be fabulous. I used leftover honey baked ham & it may have been too sweet for this recipe. Might try it with pancetta as suggested by another reviewer, or add some smoky bacon. It seemed to lack a dimension. I added 1/2 the feta and mint as directed, but didn't add more when I served it. I could have added more feta, but using the full amount of mint would be too much, in my opinion. I did add a clove of garlic (pasta without garlic is a sin) with the onion. Will make again with some changes and will update my review.

  • MairiC | 06/12/2014

    Pretty awesome...I made a few changes though....used pancetta instead of ham...can only get the super-thin sliced kind of ham around here. Also added 3 minced cloves of garlic with the onion (started by frying the pancetta, then added the onions, then garlic and a pinch of hot pepper flakes. Deglazed with some dry white wine before the cream and nutmeg, along with some fresh cracked pepper. Also used chicken broth instead of pasta water. The mint makes this dish.

  • user-249626 | 05/31/2014

    This one worthy of multiple repeats. I made it with Vidalia onion, frozen peas, black-peppered goat cheese, strips of a honey-baked ham, and fresh mint from my herb pots. The only change I'll make next time is to add a bit more ham.

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