Makes: 6 servings. Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: total of 12 minutes. Emeril says: Double-check that you have all the needed tools on hand before you start this or any recipe.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt. Return to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
3. Add ham, if desired, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
4. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
5. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
6. Add heavy cream; bring to a boil. Cook until the volume is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. If desired, add peas. Stir in remaining salt and pepper.
7. Using oven mitts or pot holders, drain pasta in a colander and place it in a large bowl.
8. Pour sauce over pasta. Add cheese and toss to coat.
9. If desired, add parsley and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve immediately.