I remember when my mum prepared pasta with mushrooms and ham: I was the happiest child in the city! However -alas- she didn’t prepare it very often, because my father disliked white sauces. So, it was really a super-special treat. I grew up thinking that pasta with mushrooms and ham was a meal for special occasions. Then I started to cook myself, and you can be assured that this wasn’t reserved for special occasions anymore! I like it too much, and we live only once. So there! My daughter Carys loves it. She digs in it every time I prepare. My son, Oskar, 23 month old cherry picking, tantrum throwing love of my life, eats all the pasta, sometimes the ham, but at the moments he’s very skilled at avoiding the mushrooms, even the tiniest speck. I am not losing hope: he will be as keen as I was, because pasta with mushrooms and ham is just too delicious.
Ingredients for 4 portions:
500 gr of mushrooms
320 gr of pasta
120 gr of cooked ham
100 gr of mascarpone or creme fraiche
1 garlic clove, crushed
20 gr of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean and slice the mushrooms. Set them aside. In a large pan, melt the butter on low heat, then add the crushed garlic clove. Let cook for a couple of minutes, raise the heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Dice the ham and stir it in the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes, then stir in the mascarpone (or creme fraiche). Lower the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Season to taste and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt it then add the pasta. Cook according to instruction, the drain it, saving a glass of its cooking water.
- Tip the pasta into the pot with the mushrooms, and saute on high heat for a couple of minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the cooking water. Saute until the water has evaporated.
- Serve you pasta with mushrooms and ham immediately, sprinkled with plenty of parmesan cheese.
If you want, you can stir in some chopped parsley just before serving your pasta with mushrooms and ham.
If you have any left over, this pasta turns into a delicious pasta frittata: beat a couple of eggs with salt, pepper, grated parmesan and chopped parsley, then stir in the left over pasta, and cook it as you would with a frittata. Lunch box sorted!