Creamy Farfalle Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas is one of the easiest weeknight dinners to have in your recipe rotation! Only 8 ingredients and on the table in under 30 minutes, this basic cream sauce is a family favorite! Farfalle Pasta is coated in delicious creamy garlic Parmesan sauce, with sautéed red bell pepper, prosciutto, and frozen peas. Switch up the veggies or the protein for a different versatile pasta dish every week! Simple, quick and easy, this may just be your new go-to pasta!
Creamy Farfalle Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas is one of our family favorite pasta nights. I traded notes with my Dad (an incredible cook!) when writing this recipe. He has made it and perfected it many times, along with its many variations. Everybody loves pasta night! First and foremost, carbs are simply comfort food! And while we probably shouldn’t eat them all the time, we rotate them in at least once a week. Second, simple pasta dishes are one of the quickest and easiest cooking nights of the week. They can be on the table in under 30 minutes, so I often save it for the busiest days. Above all, pasta is always kid friendly, even if they do pick a few veggies out!
Heavy cream is the magic ingredient, and I always have it in my fridge. You don’t need to buy jarred Alfredo sauce. Alfredo sauce is just reduced cream, flavored with garlic and Parmesan Cheese. It’s a perfect blank canvas to add different veggies and proteins. This is my favorite combination, prosciutto, red bell pepper, garlic and peas. However, the possibilities are endless!
This simple sauce can be made in the time it takes to boil water and cook your pasta. Start by setting your pasta water to boil. First, in a separate large pan or pot, large enough to toss the pasta with the sauce, melt butter and saute the peppers and prosciutto about 5 minutes. Next, add in your garlic and season with salt and pepper. Then, add the cream and reduce the heat to low, allowing it to simmer and reduce until your pasta is ready.
When the pasta is ready, use a coffee mug to reserve a cup or so of the starchy pasta cooking water. This will be used to finish the sauce. Finally, add in your peas, drained pasta, and Parmesan cheese and mix really well with the burner still on low. At this point, you can serve the pasta as is, or you may want to add 1/4 cup of the pasta water to stretch the sauce. As the pasta sits, it thickens. The pasta will absorb the sauce making it dryer, as this happens, add more water to compensate. You may need to add more pasta water when you come back for a second helping.
Tips & Substitutions
This basic creamy Alfredo sauce lends itself well to lots of variations and substitutions. Red bell pepper and peas can be changed to spinach, tomato, asparagus, zucchini, artichokes or broccoli. You will just need to judge how long the vegetable you’ve selected should be cooked. Veggies that need more time, like zucchini or broccoli, can be sautéed longer at the beginning. Quick cooking veggies, like spinach, can be tossed in with the cream towards the end.
Changing up the protein can also be a great way to create different dishes from the same recipe method. You could start the dish by fully cooking bulk Italian sausage or bacon in place of the prosciutto. Leftover cooked chicken could be added in with the cream. My dad always grills 3 Italian sausages to slice and add to the sauce at the end. This is a great way to feed more people or make sure you have leftovers for lunch.
Farfalle is my favorite, but you can also sub any short grain pasta, such as penne, rotini, shells, or ziti. Pasta always goes well with a simple green salad with an Easy Vinaigrette.
More Favorite Pastas!
- Bacon Kale Spaghetti
- Peppers & Fennel Sausage Penne
- Creamy Tomato Basil Fettuccine
- Bacon Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
- Creamy Pesto Fettuccine
- Mom’s Homemade Spaghetti
Creamy Farfalle with Proscuitto and Peas
- 1 lb farfalle pasta (bowtie) could substitute any short pasta
- 2 T butter
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thin (could substitute ½ c jarred roasted peppers, chopped)
- 6 slices prosciutto roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ t kosher salt
- 6 grinds fresh black pepper
- 1 c heavy cream
- 1 c frozen peas
- ½ c Parmesan cheese shredded
- In a pot, set water to boil for pasta. When boiling, add a pinch of salt and cook according to package instructions, about 12 minutes. BEFORE draining, reserve a cup of the starchy pasta cooking water. A coffee cup works well for this.
- Meanwhile, in the time it takes to cook the pasta, make the sauce. In a large round bottomed pan or pot, big enough to toss the pasta with the sauce, melt butter over medium heat. Saute bell pepper and prosciutto about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Add cream and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer until the sauce starts to reduce and thicken and the pasta is ready, about 10 minutes.
- Add the frozen peas, drained pasta, and Parmesan cheese to the sauce and mix well to combine with the burner still on low. Add in the pasta water a ¼ cup at a time as needed to reach the desired consistency, (total about ¼ to 1 cup). Turn off heat and serve with more Parmesan cheese and a side salad.