Monday, June 4, 2012

Penne Pasta with Smoked Ham and Pepper Cream Sauce

I thought I would pull this out of the archives and give it a face lift. This is one of our family's most beloved pasta dishes and we have been eating it for I don't know how many years. If I'm remembering correctly, this recipe came from a pasta book my mom gave my older brother in college YEARS ago and all three of our families continue to make, eat and LOVE it.

Spring is the perfect time of year to pull out this pasta. Ham is usually on sale often and sweet bell peppers are in season. It's also quick and easy and although it does have cream it's not a heavy dish, but definitely satisfying!

Penne Pasta with Smoked Ham and Pepper Cream Sauce
1 1/2 cups ham, cubed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1-2 fresh jalapeno or ancho chili peppers, seeded and finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 lb. Penne pasta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

In a large frying pan over medium heat, saute the ham until slightly golden.  Remove ham and add red and yellow peppers and spicy peppers.  Saute until crisp tender; 3-4 minutes. Remove peppers from pan and deglaze with the wine.

Add chicken broth and reduce to 1/3 cup over high heat.  Add heavy cream and reduce over high heat about another 5 minutes, or until desired consistency. (Keep a careful watch so it doesn't boil over.) Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Add the ham and peppers back in and reheat.

Meanwhile heat a large stock pot full of water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook to al dente, according to package directions.  Drain.

Place hot pasta into a large serving bowl and pour sauce over it.  Toss well.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Let sit about 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken up a bit.  Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.


  1. This looks great! How many people would this recipe feed?

  2. I would say 4-6, depending on portion size and appetite!!! Hope you enjoy.


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