Monday, January 26, 2009

Pasta with Ham, Edamame, Mint, and Truffled Breadcrumbs

Pasta, yum. This is one of my favorite go-to recipes, as if pasta wasn't easy enough already. And do yourself a favor, don't bother with the jarred stuff when you can make something like this. In the time it takes for the water to boil, you can prep everything else you need.

Cut the ham into irregular, thinnish bite sized pieces. The rough texture of the ham really improves this dish, so don't cube it. It takes a little time, but I think it's worth it. Also, don't skip the truffled breadcrumbs: they give this dish an easy elegance and a nice crunch.

I've made this with edamame and linguine, but you can sub in all different kinds of pastas or vegetables: farfalle, rotini, or orecchiette with asparagus, peas, or use broccoli with basil instead of mint. There are lots of options!

Pasta with Ham, Edamame, Mint, and Truffled Breadcrumbs
1 lb dried pasta
2 cups cooked and shelled edamame (or cooked peas, or blanched asparagus pieces)
1 cup ham, cut into ragged bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup breadcrumbs, toasted
1/2 tsp truffle oil
3 TB olive oil
1/2 cup parmiggiano reggiano, finely grated
2 TB fresh mint, chopped, or to taste
salt and (lots of) fresh ground pepper to taste

Start a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients: slice ham, cook veggies, grate cheese, mince herbs.
Toast breadcrumbs in a nonstick skillet over low heat. Drizzle with truffle oil when almost done.

Toss pasta with ham, vegetables, olive oil, and a few TB of pasta water. Mix well. Add in cheese, mint, salt and pepper. Toss again. Serve, topping with breadcrumbs.

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