|CLASSIC pasta||simple ham sauce for fettuccine (or similar)|
is a ham and cream sauce: there are several classic pasta sauces that use
butter and cream, and then one of several other ingredients, perfect for
pasta fresca. This is one using ham: a sauce that is simple, exquisite to
taste, and melds perfectly with the pasta.
for the sauce:
for the pasta:
We had cut slabs of ham, about one-half inch thick, from our 22-pound Easter ham, and then froze the slabs for future use (such as this recipe). Cut the ham into small squares, one-quarter to one-half inch thick. Melt the butter over a low heat in a sauté pan. Add the ham and sauté for three to four minutes, stirring gently, occasionally. Set aside.
Bring 4-5 quarts of water to a raging boil, add a tablespoon of salt, add the pasta and cook until just short of al dente. (Testing by pulling out a strand of pasta with a wooden pasta fork, and tasting). When the pasta is just short of al dente, drain well.
Return the sauté pan to medium heat. Add the drained pasta to the pan. Then add the cream, a little at a time, stirring and tossing as you go. The tossing is very important. Each strand should be coated evenly and thoroughly. Add the nutmeg and the salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle the parmesan on top, stir once more, and serve immediately on warmed plates. A touch of parsley on the serving adds color.