Pasta with Prosciutto, Snap Peas, Mint and Cream

By • April 16, 2010 • 30 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a play on a classic: peas, prosciutto, cream and pasta. I make a pasta with jalapenos, cream and prosciutto, and so I built this sauce the same way but used peas instead of jalapenos. Fresh mint added at the end, along with the peas, gives the dish a light, springy flavor that pairs well with the cream, prosciutto and cheese. - lecheflechef

Food52 Review: Although it may sound very rich, there are several details that keep this pasta sprightly and fresh, rather than heavy. First, lechef is not shy with the big flavors: 4 cloves of garlic, 4 shallots and a heap of diced prosciutto make the cream sauce sing, and the pop of crisp sugar snaps punctuates every bite. A fistful of parmesan gives the sauce body as well as a nutty tang. Make sure not to cook the peas for too long -- the key here is retaining just the right amount of crunch to offset the cream and starch. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 4

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto shank, finely diced
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 1 pint cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 pound fresh snap peas, whole, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound (3/4 box) pasta, farfalle or orechiette
  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the garlic for 2-3 minutes until just beginning to color.
  2. Add the prosciutto and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. I use whole prosciutto shanks because my butcher has them, but you can also ask for a 1/4 inch thick slice of prosciutto and chop that up instead. I think this works much better in pasta than thin slices.
  3. Add the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften, and season with a pinch or two of salt and a turn or two of fresh black pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, bring your pasta water to a boil, salt it, and add your pasta. You will want to time the pasta to be finished just as the sauce is finishing so that the cream doesn't sit long.
  5. With about 3 minutes left on your pasta, add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. We want them to retain their crunch. With one minute remaining, add the cream and quickly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the cheese, stir, and reduce the heat to low.
  6. Drain the pasta, and toss with the sauce to coat. Sprinkle liberally with fresh mint, and serve with black pepper and extra Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Jump to Comments (30)

Comments (30) Questions (4)


about 1 year ago Fiona Rattray

This is a fantastic recipe. I used pancetta and halved the cream. To make up for the missing half pint of cream, I added a ladleful of the pasta water. The mint and the snap peas cut beautifully through the richness of the sauce. A keeper


over 1 year ago chankari

PS. As a non mint lover (I don't drink the tea or eat the chocolate or the ice cream...) I found the mint to be perfect in this dish.


over 1 year ago chankari

Made this tonight and it was beautiful and tasty! I used some local snap peas, mint and prosciutto. I made one big change and cut the cream to 1 cup (unintentionally! I swear. I read the recipe as 1 cup instead of 1 pint) but the pasta was still sufficiently creamy (disclaimer, I had just a touch less pasta than called for - because I was running out - about 280g instead of 340g (or 3/4 lbs). Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow.


almost 2 years ago Kari2011

Excellent. Timing of the sauce at the end was spot on. I used bacon as opposed to pancetta. I recommend the garlic to be sliced to prevent burning and turning bitter.


almost 2 years ago ntt2

Made this last night and it was divine! Thought that the mint worked very well - an added brightness to the springtime flavors! Regards, nt


almost 3 years ago TheLearningCook

This was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the crunch of the snap peas in the cream sauce.


about 3 years ago ubs2007

Love the idea of adding boastful flavors. However, this dish tasted bland despite the well-intended flavors of garlic, pancetta and shallots.


about 3 years ago cinleeken

I'd love to make this with my homemade duck prosciutto! Nom nom nom!


over 3 years ago vivspy

This looks great but I agree the mint is totally not needed and does not really compliment the dish. 3 stars out of 5. Carbonara is much better.


almost 4 years ago alexlutz

My husband--the cook in our family--is away and your wonderful and relatively easy recipe really saved my bacon. It was so delicious that my son confirmed (2x): "You made this Mama? It's really good!" (I was not hurt) The small hints and asides about how to buy the prosciutto and how to time everything were so helpful. Thanks, lechef!


almost 4 years ago Mountain Mama

I just made this and it is amazing. I used a pancetta slab instead and crisped it. The mint is DIVINE in this dish; it eally adds a unique but very complementary flavor.


almost 4 years ago Susige

This was tonight's dinner and it was wonderful! It will be on the menu for the next girls' night dinner party. I know it will be a hit!


almost 5 years ago citruslighning

Made this tonight and loved it!


almost 5 years ago MarriedWithDinner

we made this last week for a friend and while we all three thought the mint was perhaps a little out of place (though definitely not bad) the rest of the dish was amazing and absolutely a keeper.


almost 5 years ago KLE

The perfect prosciutto for this would be La Quercia Crumble -- ground prosciutto totally ready to use and well priced for cooking. I agree that thinly sliced prosciutto would get rather lost in the mix.


almost 5 years ago lechef

Ground prosciutto would definitely work here, and would save you the chopping time. I usually go for a 1/4 inch dice on the prosciutto shanks I use, just because I prefer the intense flavor in a larger bite.


almost 5 years ago Kayb

On my list to try....Looks and sounds so good! Congratulations!


almost 5 years ago lechef

Thanks everyone!


almost 5 years ago maryvelasquez

This was a very fun recipe to make and a perfect spring dish.


almost 5 years ago kaykay

Sounds great! I cook with orechiette frequently so I can't wait to try this!


almost 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

congrats, lechef! a lovely recipe!


almost 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, lechef!


almost 5 years ago SallyCan

This is my kind of recipe~with good balance of flavors and textures. I wonder if a touch of those jalapenos from your other recipe might work well in it too.


almost 5 years ago lechef

I will never say "no" to extra heat in my pastas. Give it a shot!


almost 5 years ago jefflambert12

Drew........your the man


almost 5 years ago AmyNitrate

I made this for dinner tonight, and even my kids cleaned their plates. Perfect spring recipe!


almost 5 years ago Kayb

Got my vote. Sounds marvelous!


almost 5 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

This is a great recipe, love the use of prosciutto in it!


almost 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This looks decadent and absolutely delicious! Congrats on being a finalist!


almost 5 years ago TasteFood

I make something similar with crispy prosciutto and it's simply addictive. I love the idea of using the snap peas. Congratulations!