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Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas


Prosciutto -- air-dried Italian ham -- combined with peas and Parmesan cheese is a classic pasta topping.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, June 2006


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 12 ounces fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 8 slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces total), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, about 1 cup
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.

  2. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat; add shallot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cream, peas, and prosciutto; bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer until peas are heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.

  3. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Pour sauce over pasta; add Parmesan, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add enough reserved pasta water to thin sauce as desired. Serve immediately; top with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Cook's Notes

Prosciutto is easier to slice when it's cold. Stack slices, and cut crosswise with a sharp knife.

Reviews Add a comment

  • NativeIowan
    21 OCT, 2011
    I got this recipe a few years back. It is very easy recipe to follow. I have used it over and over and over again. It's yummy and goes well with salad and a nice glass of wine. I generally use a whole pint of heavy cream (sorry calorie counters) and no water for the sauce as I like the sauce a bit thicker. Congrats on a wonderful recipe.
  • aulait
    10 SEP, 2011
    We have substituted Evaporated Milk,Warmed at last moment. Delicious,less likely to "break".Small tins as well if for Two.Plus,there is a "Fat Free" version.
  • jamwinters
    12 DEC, 2008
    Just made this tonight. It was very yummy. I used light cream, less calories than heavy cream. I also added the cream last so that it didn't curdle. It was great. My hubby loved it and said it was a keeper!
  • Funkyfoody
    24 JUL, 2008
    Now, this was really a wowie receipe for the middle of the week. Didn't have lemon juice and put lime instead and it was a good replacement. Baked the proscuitto until it was done very crispy like bacon and it added a nice crunch instead of the usual mushiness. Good idea to put the lime in the beginning before the cream. There was no curdling.
  • dovecanyon
    23 JUL, 2008
    To Roxannep: the recipe above has the addition of the lemon juice and cream backwards. If you will watch the video, you will see that Martha added the lemon juice and zest in step 2, and didn't add the cream until step 3. This is the method I used, and had no problem with curdling.
  • Roxannep
    22 JUL, 2008
    It was easy to make and tasty, but I did get some curdling with the addition of the lemon juice to the sauce. I will make again, but might forgo the lemon juice and use zest only.
  • dovecanyon
    22 JUL, 2008
    I have made this several times, it is really good. I have occasionally substituted bacon for the proscuitto with good results. Last time I used spinach instead of the peas. It was excellent with the spinach and bacon. I normally use the lemon juice, but omit the zest, as the kids seem to prefer it without.
  • Pippit
    22 JUL, 2008
    This is one of my "go to" recipes. It's easy, fast and delicious! My usually picky husband absolutely loves it. I have served this multiple times while entertaining guests and always receive compliments. I have forgotten to add the lemon zest
  • jknocking
    11 JUN, 2008
    My husband and I love this recipe. We don't usually have heavy cream on hand, so I just use 2/3 cup skim milk and omit adding the pasta water in step 3. Most of the flavor comes from the shallot and parmesan anyway, so while it's not as rich, we don't miss the cream and it cuts out about 600 calories and 46 g. saturated fat (from the entire recipe--according to I also use whole wheat pasta.
  • katycooks
    21 APR, 2008
    I love this recipe! I'd made it prior to it being on the show, and it was a big hit at my house. It was fun seeing it made on the show too :)