Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Ham Leftover # 1 Pasta with Ham

We had a serious amount of leftover ham. Cathy found this recipe for Penne or Rigatoni Modo Mio (Pasta with cauliflower and ham) in Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook. It was perfect I love cauliflower and we had lots of delicious ham. It was a perfect use of some of the leftover Ham.

Penne or Rigatoni Modo Mio
(Pasta with cauliflower and ham)
Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook

The "mio" in this recipe title is one of our most prized acquaintances, Ed Giobbi. Ed's kitchen is one of those places we always visit with bounding enthusiasm and keen appetite because, although he is a painter and sculptor by profession, he is a splended and inventive cook who goes about his hobby with the cool dexterity of a croupier shuffling cards. He also believes that pasta can be one of the most gratifying and healthy ways to eat economically. This and the following four recipes are ample and delicious proof of his thesis.

2       tablespoons butter
2       tablespoons olive oil
2       cups thinly sliced onions
1       teaspoon finely garlic
1-1/2       cups boiled ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2       tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or half the amount dried
2       tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1       cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½       pound penne or rigatoni
2       cups peeled, raw potatoes cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4       cups cauliflower (1 small), broken or cut into flowerets
½       cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.   Have all the ingredients cut, chopped, measured and ready to cook before starting this dish. Have a kettle of water at the boil for the pasta.

2.   Heat the butter and oil in a skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until golden. Add the garlic, ham, basil, parsley, wine, salt and pepper to taste and continue cooking.

3.   Simultaneously, as soon as the onions start to cook, add the penne or rigatoni and potatoes to the boiling water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let return to the boil, stirring often so that the pasta does not stick. Let cook for about 4 minutes.

4.   Add the cauliflower and continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the pasta is just cooked. Do not overcook. When done, drain immediately and add the pasta mixture to the ham mixture. Toss with half the grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with the remaining cheese on the side.

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