Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pasta Primavera with Ham

Have I mentioned how much I love to cook? Well, I do and garlic is one of my favorite ingredients. I keep it in this super cute garlic holder. I got this probably 30 years ago from my Aunt Gladys. It has travelled over state lines and has been a staple in my kitchen since I got it. Isn't he cute?

I just love pasta. It's easy, versatile and you can whip it up quick and it makes great leftovers. This recipe is great because you can substitute any veggie for what I've listed here. I guess you can always call it my "what's in the fridge that needs to be eaten" pasta. My husband thought it was wonderful!!!

Lori's Pasta Primavera with Ham

Serves 6  

You'll be tossing the pasta, vegetables, and sauce in the same pot you used to cook the pasta, so use a pot that holds at least 8 quarts.  

2   teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1   Ham Steak. I used the Kirkland brand from Costco 
3   medium garlic cloves, minced ( you can use more if you love garlic)
3   fresh tomatoes, medium to large 
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional) 
1   cup low-sodium chicken broth 
1/2 cup heavy cream      
1   tablespoon of Italian Seasoning 
12  ounces pasta. I used thin spaghetti 
1   pound asparagus spears,tough ends snapped off, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces (about 3 cups) 
2   medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups) 
1   6-ounce package baby spinach (about 8 cups, loosely packed) 
2   tablespoons chopped fresh green onion 
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves     
Ground black pepper     
Shredded romano cheese 

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in large pot for cooking pasta.  
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced ham and cook about 5-8 minutes.

3. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, 
broth, italian seasoning and cream.  
4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium,and cook at rapid simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid
 is reduced by half,10 to 12 minutes. 
5.  Add spinach and salt to taste. 
6. Cover sauce to keep warm. Add a tablespoon of flour if you want your sauce thicker. Add some parmesan if you like it a bit cheesy.
7. Add 2 teaspoons salt and noodles to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. 

8. Add asparagus and zucchini and cook until pasta and vegetables are just al  dente, 2 to 3 minutes more

9. Drain pasta and vegetables and return them to empty pot. Add spinach, peas, and ham-tomato sauce. Toss to coat all ingredients with sauce.  
10. Stir in onion and basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, passing cheese at the table. 

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