Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pasta with Ham and Peas

So this is not a salad.  But I made dinner for some friends of ours tonight because they just had their baby on Friday last week and not having to cook after having a baby makes life a lot easier.  I know this first hand because several people brought my husband and I dinner when we had our son about 4 months ago.

Anyway, my mom used to make something similar to this when I was a kid, and I always loved it.  The great thing about this recipe is you can kind of play with it a little and change the vegetables in it if you like.  And, it's fairly easy.

Remember how I told you we had baked a spiral ham last week for that lunch?  Well here is a good way to use said leftover ham.   It's also a pretty family friendly recipe--most of my siblings liked it too when we were growing up.  So here goes!

Pasta with Ham and Peas

1 lb pasta of your choice (I used whole wheat shells, but it doesnt really matter.)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced fine
1 c diced ham
3/4 c frozen peas
1 container garlic flavored Philadelphia cooking creme OR
1 container herbed spreadable cheese (like Rondele, Boursin, or something similar)
1/2 c milk, approximately
dash cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta to pkg directions.

While waiting for water to boil and pasta to cook, saute onions in olive oil til translucent, then add ham to the pan and cook til its browned around the edges and starts to render some of its natural fat.  Stir in the cooking creme or spreadable cheese and add milk slowly til it thins out to a creamy sauce consistency.  Reduce heat or turn completely off til the pasta is fully cooked.

Once pasta is cooked, drain and set aside briefly.  Return the sauce to the heat, and add cayenne, salt and pepper,and peas, and then toss it all with the pasta.  Add some parmesan cheese if you wish and then serve hot with whatever side you.  Usually a nice big green salad works great since this dish is a bit on the rich side.


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