Easy and quick Pasta with Ham and Peas. Perfect for using up any leftover ham or if you need a dinner the entire family will love! This pasta recipe comes together super quick and uses bright flavours to transform this dish into a scrumptious family-approved meal.
Pasta is one of my favourite foods to make. I find the process almost meditational (that’s a real word! I swear) as my brain can handle the minimal ingredients and the usual process of boiling water any given day of the week.
This recipe is a simple way to make a great wholesome meal in the amount of time it takes you to boil the water and cook your pasta. Not to mention it’s a fairly frugal meal to have in the back of your mind … (especially if you whip it up post Christmas with leftover ham! I always need some frugality during the busy summer with vacations looming or post Christmas holidays).
I’ve been adding peas to my pasta dishes a lot recently, primarily for my kids since they usually get eaten without too much backlash. This dish would work well for any short pasta shape your kids are into. Whether it’s macaroni, small shells, or even fusilli, I’d use whichever is more likely to get my kids excited about dinner.
I like that the peas have a good amount of iron and fibre which makes it less stressful if my kids don’t dig the protein of the day. Plus, you can add the peas to the boiling water avoiding dirtying another pan. Weeknights are not made for washing dishes if you ask me.
I’d suggest adding ham, prosciutto, or bacon to this Pasta with Ham and Peas recipe. This is not mandatory as most protein would work from shredded chicken to sliced pork chops or even pork tenderloin. I use whatever we have on hand from our leftovers stash in the fridge. Shown in the photos is diced cooked ham.
Changing out the vegetable is also doable; asparagus, spinach, kale, or broccoli are all wonderful substitutions.
This isn’t pasta drenched in tomato sauce. The easiest way to cut sugar and salt from your diet is through removing prepared foods such as pasta sauces and salad dressings. This pasta isn’t dry, but rather uses some acid (white wine or lemon juice) combined with the pasta water to make a luscious silky dish. The cheese is optional, but I like it so it goes on top for me and not for my cheese-hating daughter (I know, how can someone hate cheese?!).
More easy pasta recipes we love:
- Cauliflower Alfredo
- One Pot Spring Pasta
- Summer Tomato Pasta
- 3 Cheese and Broccoli Pasta
- Tomato and Anchovy Pasta
Easy and quick Pasta with Ham and Peas. This pasta recipe comes together super quick and uses bright flavours to transform this dish into a scrumptious family-approved meal.
- 1 lbs dried short pasta such as shells, macaroni, etc.
- 2 cups frozen or fresh peas
- 2 cups cubed ham or other leftover protein such as chicken, etc.
- 1 small yellow or sweet onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or dry white wine
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese to garnish, if desired
Cook pasta as per package instructions with two minutes less than recommended time. Add frozen peas to pasta pot for the remaining 2 minutes. Save 1/2 cup pasta water before draining pasta/peas.
Meanwhile, add onion to a large frying pan/ skillet and cook for about 3 minutes over medium-high heat until softened and slightly translucent. Add ham (or protein of choice) and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes until ingredients are cooked through and beginning to crisp. Add lemon juice (or wine) and allow to reduce by at least half.
Add pasta and peas to frying pan with ham along with the saved pasta water. Toss for a minute until everything is pipping hot. Add dill and toss until just combined.
Place in a serving bowl and garnish with cheese if desired.