Homemade Garganelli Pasta with Cream, Ham and Peas Recipe

  • by Nonna Box February 4, 2019
  • |
  • Last Updated on November 24, 2022
homemade Garganelli with Cream, Ham and Peas Recipe

If you have always wanted to make homemade pasta, garganelli pasta is the perfect one to start with because of its simple rolled shape and delicious taste. Keep reading one of our latest recipes to learn how to make your own pasta at home and then serve garganelli with a simple prosciutto and peas cream sauce topped with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

What is garganelli pasta?

Garganelli is a type of egg-based homemade pasta with a shape that is very similar to penne rigate. However, there are a few main differences between the two shapes:

  1. Garganelli is made out of egg-based pasta dough, while penne is made out of durum wheat and is a dry pasta.
  2. The ridges run crosswise on the garganelli, while they run along the length of penne.
  3. Garganelli are homemade from scratch, and they have a noticeable seam where the dough is stuck together, while penne are perfect cylinder shapes.

Where did garganelli pasta originate?

The Italian region of Emilia Romagna is the home of an incredible amount of fresh and filled pastas. They have some incredible, unique shapes and each shape is made to go with a specific type of sauce to “hold” it correctly (yes, as you might have inferred, Italians are very particular about their pasta!). Garganelli looks similar to penne but it has a small flap that holds cream sauces perfectly. Garganelli is also similar to another type of pasta from Emilia Romagna, maccheroni al pettine, which is also an egg pasta dough that is made by rolling, but the maccheroni are a much larger shape.

What do you need to make garganelli pasta?

You can find packaged garganelli at your local Italian market or you can make the pasta fresh from scratch using a pasta machine at home. A pasta machine will ensure that your egg dough is the right thickness before you create the pasta squares. The garganelli wooden stick and pasta comb, also called a garganelli board, is a traditional garganelli tool that is handy to use when making this plate.

Depending on your speed, you should be able to make this recipe in about one hour, add at least an hour if you are making the pasta from scratch. No other kitchen accessory is needed, so you don’t even need to get the food processor out for this recipe.

Ingredients and instructions to make homemade garganelli pasta dough

Ingredients

  • 380 g flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Pour the flour onto a pastry board, gnocchi board or other work surface, and make a hole in the center of the flour. Add the eggs, oil, and salt into the hole. 
  • Mix the ingredients first with a fork and then knead with your hands until you get a homogeneous mixture. 
  • Work the pasta dough into a large ball and then cover the ball with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Homemade garganelli step by step

How to make garganelli recipe step by step

  • Roll the dough into a thin sheet of about 1-2 mm. You can use a rolling pin or a pasta machine. If you use a pasta machine, start from the widest setting and roll the dough until the thinnest setting, adjusting the thickness knob every time.
  • With a knife, cut the dough into squares of about 3 inches. 
  • Place a stick of approx 0.5 in thickness on one corner of a pasta square. If it doesn’t stick to the wood, dip your fingertips in a little water and gently rub on the wood until the pasta square adheres.
  • Now roll the dough on the gnocchi board or garganelli board, starting from the corner, applying gentle pressure to wrap it around the wooden instrument and make a tubular shape. 
  • Carefully remove the garganelli pasta from the stick and place it on a lightly floured (with semolina flour) baking sheet or other flat surface. Continue the process with the rest of the egg pasta dough.
how to make homemade garganelli

Smooth garganelli pasta with different pasta sauces

It is also possible to make this tubular shape pasta in a smooth version. If you prefer smooth, you simply roll the squares without using the pasta comb, so on a flat surface. You can even choose to make both smooth and ridged by creating one style first and then using the remaining dough to make the other.

You might want to think about your choice of pasta sauces as well, as a smooth shape goes well with butter based sauces that the pasta can really absorb.

Why you’ll love this recipe

When you are in the mood for some pasta grannies comfort food, look no further than this traditional Italian recipe that makes a wonderful alternative to Mac and Cheese. We are always on the lookout for recipes that are rich and creamy and very easy to make… and even better if they have only a few ingredients like this one! You can have this egg pasta recipe on the table for dinner in under an hour.

Try other homemade pasta recipes:

homemade Garganelli with Cream, Ham and Peas Recipe

Garganelli with Cream, Ham & Peas

This delicious meal is an underrated rolled Italian fresh pasta. While this is often eaten as an oven baked casserole, in this recipe we present a tasty variation.
5 from 7 votes
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Course: Pasta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 994kcal
Author: Nonna Box

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (453.59 g) garganelli fresh or store bought
  • 1 ½ cups (217.5 g) peas frozen
  • ½ cup (118.29 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano freshly grated
  • 4 oz. (113.4 g) ham thinly sliced cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 cups (476 g) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 6 (6 ) fresh mint leaves torn (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large 12 inch skillet add the cream and and cook over medium heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano and season with salt and pepper.. Stir and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and the peas together and boil until the pasta is al dente (which means still firm but not hard and definitely not mushy).
  • Drain pasta and peas and set aside 1/2 cup of the pasta water to use later.
  • Add the pasta and peas to the cream mixture and cook on medium heat until it coats the pasta (about 2 minutes), occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Fold in the prosciutto and mint (if desired, mint is optional).
  • Add some of the pasta water you set aside (if necessary) if the sauce is too dense.
  • Serve hot topped with some additional grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Notes

Garganelli pasta cooking time

Fresh homemade garganelli will be ready in just 3-4 minutes. Dry garganelli will take about 7-8 minutes, but read the instructions on the packaging as cooking times can vary.
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Variations on this Italian recipe from Emilia Romagna

As an alternative, instead of making a pasta asciutta you can put the pasta in boiling water but leave it very al dente before tossing it in the sauce and putting it all in a baking dish. You can then bake it in the oven to make a delicious pasta al forno. Either way, it is creamy and delicious and will satisfy your craving for a comfort food pasta meal.

Another of the alternative recipes is “green garganelli” served with either a sauce made from green vegetables, such as zucchini, or a lovely pesto filled with aromatic basil and extra virgin olive oil.

FAQs

Garganelli pasta cooking time

Fresh homemade garganelli will be ready in just 3-4 minutes. Dry garganelli will take about 7-8 minutes, but read the instructions on the packaging as cooking times can vary.

Expert tip for drying garganelli pasta

Once made, put the fresh garganelli pasta on a lightly floured (semolina flour) surface or baking tray for 15-30 minutes, depending on air humidity. After leaving to dry at room temperature, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How do you store homemade garganelli?

If you don’t plan to use the fresh garganelli pasta immediately, allow the pasta to dry for 15-30 minutes before putting it in a airtight container or a freezer bag. They can then be frozen in the freezer and stored there for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use the garganelli, simply toss them into boiling water directly from the freezer, no need to defrost.

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