Wash the asparagus; break off rough ends and cut into 1 inch lengths leaving the tips whole.
Start cooking your pasta.
Bring a large skillet of water to boil, adding a pinch of salt. Add the asparagus and cover pan. Cook no more than 2 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.
Using the same skillet, melt the butter and add the ham and asparagus. Cook briefly.
Add the cream and bring to a boil; cook for 4-5 minutes to thicken cream.
Drain pasta and rinse under hot water.
Toss the pasta in a bowl with the sauce and stir in Parmesan cheese to taste. Top with a grind of pepper.
You could substitute broccoli spears or peas for asparagus.