Friday, May 20, 2011

Pasta with Ham, Snap Peas, Mint & Cream

Spring is in the air. Well actually the air feels like wet cheesecloth wrapped around your face, but whatever. Spring food is on the table, that's what I meant to say. This is a double post because a) these two dishes compliment each other perfectly and b) I need to catch up on my postings. 

4 clove garlic, minced
Olive oil
1/3-1/2 lb. Black Forest ham, cut thick (it's basically one slab of ham), diced
4 shallots minced
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 bag frozen peas in pods, chopped in 1/3s*
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
salt and pepper
3/4 pound farfalle, cooked al dente

  1. In a heavy skillet or saucepan, heat a few swirls of olive oil over medium heat and stir in garlic just until it begins to color.
  2. Add chunks of ham and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Watch the salt, as ham is already rather salty.
  3. Bring the pasta to a boil but try to time it just right so it finishes as the sauce finishes
  4. With 2-3 minutes left on the sauce, add the peas and cook for 1-2 minutes. With one minute remaining add the cream, bring it to a boil, add cheese and reduce heat to low (don't stop stirring!)
  5. Toss the pasta with sauce, sprinkle liberally with mint, pepper and extra parmesan.
*Jaime Oliver says frozen peas are fresher than fresh peas (as they are picked and frozen immediately), however they don't have the same crunch. Still delicious though. And cheap! I think this entire meal cost $7 and lasted for days.

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