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Penne with Ham, Mushrooms & Peas

Yields1 Serving

 1 lb (500 g) penne pasta
 olive or canola oil
 1 onion, finely chopped
 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
 a big pinch of dried chili flakes
 1 cup diced ham
 3 cups sliced button mushrooms
 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
 2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
 1 1/2 cups Canadian smoked cheddar cheese, or aged Gouda
 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
 Salt and black pepper

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook penne according to package directions until tender, but firm. Drain and set aside.


Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes or until tender and fragrant. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook, stirring for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add ham and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring for 3 minutes or until water is starting to release from mushrooms. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes longer or until water is evaporated and mushrooms brown lightly.


Pour in cream and bring to a simmer, stirring often (don’t boil it). Reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly reduced. Stir in peas and heat through (if using fresh peas, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender).


Add drained pasta and cheese to pot and stir to mix well. Stir in parsley and lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.