In a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Add fettuccine and cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender to bite, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces; separate tips from stems and set aside.
In a 12-inch nonstick frying pan, melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add ham and cook, stirring often, until meat is lightlybrowned, 2-3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer ham to a plate and set aside.
Add remaining butter to pan. When melted, add flour and whisk vigorously until a paste forms. Whisk over the heat until paste sizzles, about 1 minute.
In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of broth and the half and half. Add broth mixture to the pan, a little at a time, whisking constantly with each addition until sauce is completely smooth. Simmer sauce, stirring often, until it thickens, 2-3 minutes.
Whisk in cheese until melted. Remove from heat and keep warm.
When pasta has cooked for 12 minutes, add the asparagus stems to the water with the pasta and boil 2 minutes. Add asparagus tips and peas; cook until asparagus is tender-crisp when pierced, about 1 minute.
Drain pasta and vegetables, then return them to the cooking pan and add ham and sauce.
Gently toss mixture until blended. If pasta seems dry, mix in an additional 1/2 cup broth. Transfer to plates and serve immediately.
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