Pasta Ribbons with Peas, Prosciutto, Cream and Spring Pesto

Spring into mealtime with beautiful ribbons of pasta laced with green pesto and a creamy cheese sauce. Lemon zest adds just the right contrast!


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound curly-edged, long-cut pasta, such as riccia or long, wide pasta

For the pesto:

  • About 3 tablespoons pine nuts or sliced almonds
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley (a few handfuls)
  • About 1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • About 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (a heavy handful)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pasted or finely grated
  • About 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • A handful of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

For the cream sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound thick-cut prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 box frozen organic sweet peas (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it and add the pasta. Cook to al dente; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, lightly toast the nuts for the pesto.

Combine the pesto ingredients, including the toasted nuts, in a food processor and pulse into a paste.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add the shallot and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the prosciutto and stir for a minute more, then add the peas and stir to heat through. Stir in the wine (or stock) and cook to reduce, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and let bubble; let bubble and thicken for a few minutes.

Toss the pasta with the cream sauce and the pesto, using a splash of reserved cooking water to loosen, if desired. Pass the extra cheese at the table.

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Rachael Ray