Next month I am going to visit Emily, our former CSA Manager, in northern Italy! Looking at places to visit in that region of Italy, one can not ignore the fact that you are in the heart of Parmesan and Prosciutto country! Looking at pictures I found myself suffering with an intense craving for a cream based pasta sauce with ham and peas. Well I had ham and I had pea shoots and I had cream, craving very much satisfied! So here is what I did….
1 lb Pasta, I used Spaghetti because that is what I had
1/2 to 1 full bunch of Pea Shoots, washed and chopped
1 cup or more Ham, cut into 1/2” cubes
1 1/2 to 2 cups Cream
3 TB Butter
Salt and Pepper
Nutmeg, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and cook pasta according to package directions.
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat the cream with the pea shoots, ham, a bit of nutmeg and the butter. Bring to a low simmer and allow to cook for a few minutes to infuse the cream with the flavor of the ham. Just before the pasta is done, add a good amount (3 TB?) of Parmesan to the cream sauce, and stir well. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. When the pasta is done, drain it and quickly rinse away the starch. You can add a bit of olive oil or butter to the pasta. Plate up the pasta and ladle on as much sauce as you like. I use tongs to mix it well in the bowl. I keep the pasta and sauce separate because if you have leftovers, it will keep better. If you pre-mix it all, and you do have leftovers, the pasta will absorb all the sauce.