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Pasta with Asparagus, Ham, and Cream Recipe

Publisher’s note: Enjoy this pasta recipe from Susan Williams in celebration of National Pasta Day.

When my friends Anne and Robin came to visit me recently, we had more fun than the law allows. We talked, we giggled, we watched TV, we shopped, and generally, we enjoyed each other to the hilt.

Pasta with Asparagus, Ham and Cream is a super simple, basic pasta recipe, easily adaptable to whatever veggie you have in the fridge or freezer.

Pasta with Asparagus, Ham and Cream is a super simple, basic pasta recipe, easily adaptable to whatever veggie you have in the fridge or freezer. And this image is perfect for pinning!

It was really important to me to provide a relaxed atmosphere to them, since they’ve both been under a fair amount of stress, for various reasons. So I really didn’t WANT to be in the kitchen all the time.

I wanted delicious food. Absolutely. What good are calories if you can’t enjoy them? But I wasn’t out to impress them with all my cooking chops, either. Delicious and fast were the two things at the top of my priority list.

This pasta fit the bill, perfectly! I had some ham in the fridge that needed using up, and when they were visiting, I had some sugar snap peas on-hand.

And that’s the beauty of this recipe. It is eminently suitable for adaptation. Whatever kind of pasta you have is fine. I’ve used orecchiette, campanelle, and what you see pictured here: chifferini, which is a half moon shaped pasta with little ridges. Whatever green veggie you’d like to use is fine: I’ve used peas, sugar snap peas, and now this version, which is perfect for spring: asparagus. (Grab it while it’s on sale!) You could certainly garnish it with parsley, and I think bread crumbs browned with butter, olive oil and garlic would add a nice texture, too. But if you’re in a hurry, as I was, keep it simple, and enjoy.
Here’s the recipe for this little treasure that my dear friend Hannah told me she has moved to her Family Recipes notebook. It’s the notebook where she keeps only the best of the best.

Pasta with Asparagus, Ham, and Cream


  • 1 lb. pasta (I used chifferini)
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1/2 c. diced onion
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 c. deli ham, thick sliced, and diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Cook pasta according to package directions, in boiling water that is salty like the sea. (I use about 1 generous T. salt for a big pot of water.)
  • Warm 1 T. of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the asparagus and the ham, and cook for a minute. Pour in the cream, bring to a low simmer, and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Drain pasta. Put back in the pasta pot. Pour sauce over pasta, drop remaining butter into pot, and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Toss to coat, and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with additional grated Parm, if desired.


  • I have made this recipe with peas, asparagus, and sugar snap peas, all with equal success. But if it’s springtime, and asparagus is on sale, this is a nice way to enjoy it while it’s in season.
Susan Williams

Susan Williams writes about food, faith, and fun at ”That Susan Williams”. She loves to share her passion for great food, simply and beautifully prepared, and only shares recipes she deems to be “the best of the best”. Susan is ably assisted by her talented food photographer husband, who isn’t quitting his day job as a music producer for the fame and fortune of blogging just yet. Susan is a born storyteller. Find Susan on Instagram: susanwilliams

Candace Karu

Sunday 24th of April 2016

This one's on deck in my kitchen. Looks yummy!

Susan Williams

Sunday 24th of April 2016

Simple, basic, and adaptable to whatever you have on hand!

Miya Thomson

Friday 22nd of April 2016

Looks very delicious, but do you think I could replace the ham with bacon?

Susan Williams

Saturday 23rd of April 2016

Miya: absolutely, as long as it was already cooked.


Friday 22nd of April 2016

Yummy!!! Didn't know that cream-pasta goes so well with asparagus. Thanks for sharing :)

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