Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Easy Peasy ...

Pasta with ham and peas ... easy peasy, but I never make it the same way, and this time it turned out quite nicely, so I'm going to write it down.

You need

cooked ham (slices or steak both work - I prefer it sliced, not too thin)
a very small amount of onion - one torpedo is fine
oil/salt/usual condiments
white wine if desired
parmesan cheese - or whichever cheese you prefer

So, chop onion finely and saute with olive oil and a little salt - easy on the salt until the ham's gone in and you have a sense of how much salt you'll need overall. Medium heat.
Now ... if the peas are fresh (as they are at this time of the year) add them next, saute them a little, then add the ham. The peas need to cook, basically. If they are frozen, you can either add them frozen to the pan, have them defrost and let the water dry a little before adding ham, or defrost, drain and add after the ham has heated up some.

Add a splash of wine to taste, then cook it down, and add cream, again to taste. Went light on the cream last night, and it was good nonetheless. Make sure there is some liquid left in the pan.

About 1/2 pound of peas and three largeish slices of ham make abundant sauce for half a pound of pasta. The rest you should probably adjust to taste. Once pasta is cooked, drain and toss into the sauce pan, adding some cheese to toss, with more cheese available to put on top. If the pasta is dry, add a little water you cooked the pasta with. I tend to drain not too vigorously, then put the strainer over the pasta pan so some liquid collects at the bottom of that pan.

Timing is perfect ... up to adding the wine can be done easily while the water is boiling. Cooking down the wine and the cream will take no more than 10 minutes (OK to raise the temperature a bit if you need to accelerate at this stage) - so can be done while the pasta is cooking. This is the perfect dish to be done in less than half an hour.

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