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Gammon Pasta in a Carbonara Sauce

Smoked gammon pasta with peas in a carbonara sauce may be controversial but it’s a delicious & easy meal made with easy-to-find ingredients.

When I say quick, this recipe will easily go from your fridge to your table in under 30 minutes.

Creamy gammon steak pasta with peas in a carbonara sauce garnished with cheese.

Creamy Gammon Pappardelle

I lived in Central Europe for 13 years and gammon was one of the ingredients I missed the most in my time away. Sure there were plenty of other wonderful smoked pork products, but you can’t beat a nice gammon steak.

Of course, I have a recipe for gammon egg and chips, I’ve even got a gammon salad that plays around with similar ideas.

My latest offering using this wonderful cut of meat is a simple gammon pasta recipe that comes with peas and a carbonara-style sauce.

I can feel the air bristling with folk wanting to tell me that this isn’t a proper carbonara. They would of course be right… however, the sauce is definitely pure carbonara and the name is used descriptively!

Egg yolks, pecorino cheese, black pepper and not a lot else apart from garlic, which whilst not traditional is not out of the way!

Of course, this does not use Guanciale, but when I was putting together this recipe the first sauce that came to mind with gammon was a carbonara sauce.

I am a firm believer in cooking with stuff that’s local to you and whilst I love Guanciale I’d rather not rely on ordering stuff online for my dinner unless I have to.

So unless you are a stickler for “tradition” give this a try, it’s delicious simple, and as local as you want it to be!

Close-up overhead creamy gammon steak pasta with peas in a carbonara sauce garnished with cheese.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, of course! This recipe has a thick and clingy sauce and the pasta plays a role in cooking the raw egg in that sauce.

As a result, you want some pasta with a bit of “body”. If you use something too thin it will cool without thickening the sauce.

Tagliatelle is a good option as are fatter tubes like penne or rigatoni. A leftfield option is orecchiette which results in a really hearty dish.

Do I have to use smoked gammon steak?

No, but I think that the smoked flavour adds a great deal to this recipe. You could use an unsmoked gammon steak if you want.

Can I make this in advance?

As far as I am concerned, carbonara sauce reheats terribly, and for that reason, I would not make and reheat this recipe.

But this is a quick dish to make, it’s done and dusted in 20-25 minutes. This means you are not saving a great deal of time by making this in advance and reheating it.

Overhead creamy gammon steak pasta with peas in a carbonara sauce garnished with cheese.

Serving Suggestions

I usually consider a bowl or plate of pasta to be a fairly complete light meal.

This gammon pasta recipe is no different, and like so many of my pasta dishes I usually add a bit of bread.

My favourite bread “squeeze” at the moment is a soft potato focaccia recipe from my friend Rosemary.

However, pasta and garlic bread or cheesy garlic bread is always a stonkingly good option!

Close-up creamy gammon steak pasta with peas in a carbonara sauce garnished with cheese.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Hob/stovetop.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
  • Colander.
  • Mixing bowl and a fork to mix the sauce.
  • Sieve if you need to defrost the peas.
  • Kicthen tongs.
  • A combination of weighing scales, measuring cups and spoons.
Smoked gammon steak pasta with peas in a creamy carbonara sauce.
Yield: 2 Servings

Creamy Gammon Pasta with Peas Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This wonderful pasta recipe takes sauteéd smoked gammon steak and garlic and combines it with a classic carbonara style sauce and sweet garden peas, it's both delicious and really easy to make!


  • 75g (½-⅔ Cup) Frozen Peas
  • 3 Eggs
  • ⅛-¼ Tsp Black Pepper
  • 75g (⅓-½ Cup) Freshly Grated Pecorino (or Parmesan) Cheese (Plus Extra for Garnish)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 175g (6oz) Smoked Gammon Steak
  • 200g (7oz) Pappardelle Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 25g (1 Tbsp + 2 Tsp) Butter
  • Salt for boiling the pasta


  1. Bring a 20cm (8") saucepan of well salted water to a boil. I use 1½ teaspoons of water in a pan this size.
  2. Defrost the peas by placing them in a sieve and running them under cold water for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl and beat with a whisk.
  4. Add the black pepper and pecorino cheese to the eggs and mix with a fork to combine.
  5. Bash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and remove the papery skins.
  6. Cut the gammon steak into a 5-6mm (¼") dice, making sure that you trim off any rind, but keep the fat, it is delicious!
  7. Heat a 30cm or 12" frying pan over a medium heat.
  8. Throw the pasta into the now boiling water and cook it is al dente. This should take 8-10 minutes.
  9. Add the butter, olive oil and garlic cloves to the frying pan and cook until the butter has melted.
  10. Add the gammon and cook until it has started to crisp up, then reduce the heat to low.
  11. 30 seconds before the pasta is ready add the defrosted peas, then drain reserving a little of the pasta water.
  12. Remove the garlic from the gammon and discard it, then pour the gammon and cooking oils into the egg whilst stirring.
  13. Do not put the pan back onto the heat but add the hot pasta and peas to the pan, quickly add the egg and using tongs, work the pasta until the pasta is coated adding as much of the reserved pasta water as required to form a silky sauce. It should be 3-4 tablespoons.
  14. Serve immediately with some extra cheese.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 949Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 507mgSodium: 799mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 63g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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