I had a long work day today. I´m in the middle of what I hope will be big changes in both my jobs. So, it´s a nice kind of tiredness. The day was absolutely gorgeous. Sunny, warm, dry (I can´t emphasize that enough) end-of-summer day. I love the change of seasons. All of them. They come at just the right moment when I´m aching for a change. In food mostly. So, as I start thinking about stews and hot chocolate, don´t roll your eyes, we´re in the south, I´m making a simple pasta because I´m very tired and haven´t had a proper meal. Yet. But I´m about to.
PASTA WITH PEAS AND HAM
from Food & Wine, annual cookbook 2007
Note: I used half cream and half evaporated milk (a discovery I made here) and added some fontina cheese along with the parmesan.
1 pound spaghetti or other pasta
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or whole
One 10-ounce package frozen peas
¼ pound thinly sliced country ham, coarsely chopped
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, return to the same pot and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent sticking.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add the garlic cloves and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the frozen peas (it will sputter fiercely as the hot oil meets the water) and the ham. Cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add cream and stock and simmer over moderate heat until the cream has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Stir the pasta into the sauce, add parmesan and stir well to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to plate or bowls and serve right away.