There’s one thing I’ve learned while recreating my grandmother’s tried and true Italian recipes: Use the best ingredients that your budget can afford. Good quality ingredients make all the difference. I use fresh vegetables and whole unprocessed ingredients whenever possible. Speck ham is the star of this pasta dish, lending a salty flavor that balances perfectly with the sweetness of the peas.
Dating back to the year 1200, Speck is a lightly smoked and open-air cured ham made in Northern Italy. It is very much like to pancetta and can be used in similar ways in recipes, or enjoyed raw with fresh wine and cheese.
I’d never before cut a ham from the rind, but for this recipe I did just that while trimming the fat. I’m seriously considering going out and getting a slicer so that I can try it nice and thin with cantaloupe or frying it up like bacon. Yum.
Having always loved pasta and peas, I decided on incorporating Speck. And for me, tomatoes always have to be involved whenever pasta is concerned. The combination of all of the flavors is completely divine.
- 16 oz mafaldine #16 pasta or your favorite long noodle pasta
- 16 oz Speck ham diced
- 16 oz frozen peas
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1 medium onion finely shopped
- 2/3 cup pecorino romano grated
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 3 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1/2 tbsp salt and 1/2 tbsp olive oil pasta.
- Meanwhile, saute ham in a pan for about 5 minutes and then set aside.
- Cook onion in the same saute pan with 1/2 tbsp olive oil until translucent.
- Add peas, minced garlic and tomatoes, stirring gently until peas are heated through.
- Toss in the cooked ham and cheese and mix well.
- Drain pasta, reserving a small amount of water to keep the noodles moist.
- Combine with the mixture with the pasta and lemon juice and serve.
Speck provided me with a sample to facilitate my recipe creation. No other compensation was received.
Krystal's Kitsch says
I think this looks so awesome! I really want to try this ham!
This look awesome! Can’t wait to try it!~
Clare Swindlehurst (@SuperMommyClub) says
We love pasta and I love simple so this is the perfect recipe for us!