Pasta alla Papalina

Pasta alla Papalina

Pasta alla Papalina is a pasta recipe from Rome, Lazio region, named after Pope Pius XII. Made with cream, eggs, and Parmesan cheese, it is ultra creamy, silky, and rich resembling the famous carbonara. And the addition of ham and green peas makes it northing short of amazing!

Jump to Recipe
Pasta alla Papalina

Hello folks – how are you doing? I hope this week has been treating you well. Also, can you belie it is THE END of February already? But that means spring is coming, sooner (probably for you) or later (most likely for us).

That’s exciting. And that also means that lighter recipes will start appearing on my blog at some point. Hence, we should enjoy as much of comfort foods as possible now, am I right? :)

Pasta alla Papalina

Pasta alla Papalina is exactly that kind of recipe, super rich and indulgent – a pasta recipe to enjoy thought winter. As all recipes I have been sharing so far in 2024, I made and photographed it last winter. Yeah, Daisy was still a 3-year cat – she has turned four now!

Pasta alla papalina is a pasta recipe from Rome named after Pope Pius XII, who was the inspiration behind its invention. If you would like to learn more about the story behind it, I would suggest you to check this post from the Pasta Project (which is actually a great blog with a comprehensive system of searching pasta recipes by regions.)

To make this pasta, you will need onion, cooked ham (or prosciutto), green peas, Parmesan cheese, butter, heavy cream, and eggs. Plus salt and pepper. Like in carbonara, the beaten eggs are added into the pasta and sauce adding that unique silkiness that carbonara has. As for pasta type, the traditional way would be fettuccini.

More Authentic Pasta Recipes

Looking for more Italian pasta recipes? Please be sure to check some.

Pasta with Sardines

Ragù alla Bolognese

Pasta alla Genovese

Sicilian Style Pasta with Cauliflower

I hope you like this Pasta alla Papalina, and you will make it a try.  If you make it, let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share your photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen.


Pasta alla Papalina
Pasta alla Papalina

Pasta alla Papalina

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Pasta alla Papalina with ham and peas and with a silky and rich Carbonara-like sauce made with cream, eggs, and Parmesan.
Recipe adapted from The Pasta Project


  • about 400-450 gr. fettuccine or tagliatelle

  • 1 onion, finely sliced

  • 1 tbsp. (15 gr.) butter or olive oil

  • 300 gr. cooked or cured ham or prosciutto, cubed or sliced

  • 300 gr. green peas, frozen

  • 1 cup (250 ml.) heavy (35%) cream

  • 200 gr. grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 large or 3 small eggs

  • salt for water

  • black pepper, to taste


  • In a small bowl, beat with a whisk or fork the eggs with the grated parmesan, set aside (until step 8.)
  • In a large pan or skillet, sauté the chopped onion in butter or olive oil until translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the prosciutto or ham and cook for a 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the peas and allow them to cook for a minute or two more if they are thawed or 5 minutes if they are still frozen. If using fresh peas, you may need even a tad longer to sauté them.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and allow the cream to reduce slightly.
  • In a meantime, while making the sauce, cook the pasta in a generously salted water, as instructed on the package, until al dente.
  • When pasta is ready, using a tongs or two large forks, transfer the pasta into the pan with sauce (using tongs instead of draining will ensure the pasta still has enough liquid – that’s what we need. Alternatively, you can drain pasta using a colander – just be sure to reserve some pasta water.)
  • Then pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta and sauce. Mix everything together well until the pasta is coated in a creamy sauce; season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately with a few additional black peps and extra grated cheese if desired. Enjoy!

26 thoughts on “Pasta alla Papalina

  1. sherry says:

    I don’t eat pasta very often but this certainly looks the bomb Ben!! Thank heavens autumn is on the way here and our record-breaking hot and humid summer is finally starting to turn. Well, the equinox is only a week away thank goodness!

  2. David Scott Allen says:

    I didn’t know this pasta had a name. It is one a friend made for me back in the 80s and I have been loving it since. Sometimes I add sliced endive to the mix. So now the jury is in: I’ll be making the pastor soon.

  3. Raymund says:

    Pasta alla Papalina sounds like a decadent and indulgent dish indeed, perfect for enjoying during the colder months which is starting now on our side of the world

  4. Velva says:

    Ben, this pasta dish looks so delicious. Talk about comfort food. Seriously this is a beautiful pasta dish simplistic but comforting.

    Happy birthday to Daisy!

    Cheers to sunshine days and the beauty of Spring.


  5. Marcelle says:

    Hi Ben, this pasta dish looks so comforting and your photos are gorgeous. I’ve made something like this with a sort of Alfredo sauce, but I can’t wait to try it your way. Peas and ham are so good together. Your Daisy is beautiful, love that second shot where you caught her licking her lips! ???? I’m sure she was loving the aroma of good food.
    Marcelle recently posted…Morning Glory Muffin Quick BreadMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge