CLASSIC pasta penne with peas and ham and cream







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This recipe, adapted from Marcella's Marcella Cucina, spells spring! There is also something ubiquitous about pasta and peas and ham -- probably because it just works so well!

for the sauce:

  • three tablespoons butter plus one more tablespoon
  • two cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • one medium onion, diced
  • two cups fresh peas or 10 ounces of frozen peas
  • one half cup heavy cream
  • one half pound ham, cut into thin strips
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • one half cup freshly grated parmesan

for the pasta:

  • one pound of penne

AIf using fresh peas, take the shelled peas and parboil them in salted water until they are just barely tender. if frozen: defrost the peas and boil put them in boiling water for a few seconds, until barely tender.

Put the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic. After ten seconds add the onion. Cook for two minutes, and then add the ham. Cook for two minutes and add the peas, a half teaspoon of salt, and lots of freshly ground pepper. Cook for maybe one minute (assume the peas are now tender) and add the cream. Over high heat, reduce by half. Set aside.

Meanwhile bring 4-5 quarts of water to a boil. Add two tablespoons of salt. Drop in the pasta and stir. Continue cooking until al dente (or just a touch short of al dente).

Drain and combine with the re-heated sauce over a medium heat. Add the last tablespoon of butter and stir well. Taste for salt and pepper and serve with the freshly grated parmesan.




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