Easy lemony pea orecchiette with prosciutto & arugula is a creamy, one pot pasta dish made in just 30 minutes for a perfect Spring pasta recipe!
I don’t know why but I find orecchiette pasta so cute.
I think because it’s little and looks like little ears, which is exactly what “orecchiette” translates to: little ears.
It’s also one of my favorite pastas because it’s shape is perfect for holding sauce and making sure you get a pea in each bite-they’re like little bowls.
This orecchiette with peas is made in a quick and easy lemon white wine sauce with crispy prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and fresh arugula.
It’s everything I love about Spring: peas, lemon & arugula :).
The best part about this pea orecchiette with prosciutto is aside from being oh so delicious, it’s made in about 30 minutes and in ONE POT.
Oh yeah, just how I like it. Keep the dishes to a minimum ;).
What you need to make lemon pea orecchiette:
- orecchiette (found in the pasta aisle!)
- olive oil
- white wine
- frozen peas
- Parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper
Prosciutto is usually found at the deli counter or you can find it pre-packaged and sliced (I buy it this way from my local Aldi market).
If you can’t find prosciutto you can also use pancetta, bacon or thinly sliced ham.
You can also substitute the arugula for spinach but I love the peppery flavor of the arugula with this dish :).
You’ll notice that I called this pasta creamy but there’s no cream in the ingredients…
That’s because instead of milk/cream, I use reserved pasta water and Parmesan cheese to give the pasta it’s creamy texture. The pasta water has starch left over from the pasta which acts as a thickener which=creaminess :).
How to make pea orecchiette with prosciutto:
- First, cook your pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain. (Drizzle and toss pasta with some olive oil to keep from sticking).
- In the same pan you cooked the pasta in, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until prosciutto is crispy and slightly browned (about 5 min).
- Remove prosciutto from pan and set aside, reserving the butter in the pan.
- Add garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in lemon zest, juice and white wine. Cook for 2 minutes. Add peas and cook additional 3-4 minutes or until peas are tender and no longer frozen.
- Add cooked pasta to pan along with Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and reserved 1/2 cup of pasta water. If pasta is dry, add additional 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- Add crispy prosciutto back to pan along with arugula, toss and serve warm or room temperature.
For more easy pasta dishes try:
- Creamy Balsamic Mushroom Pasta with Spinach
- Pasta with Spinach, Ground Turkey & Cannellini Beans
- Grilled Summer Vegetable Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto
Lemony Pea Orecchiette with Prosciutto & Arugula
- 16 oz orecchiette pasta
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 oz prosciutto, ripped into 2" pieces about 8-10 slices
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1.5 cups frozen peas
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups arugula
- Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain. Set aside (drizzle with olive oil and toss to avoid sticking)
- Heat butter in large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally until crispy and golden. Remove prosciutto and set aside.
- In the same pan on medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add lemon zest, juice and white wine. Stir and cook 2 minutes. Then add peas and cook 2-3 minutes until tender.
- Add pasta to pan along with Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Add more pasta water if needed if pasta is dry. Stir in arugula and serve warm or room temperature.