I'm not sure what happened. The clock ticked Autumn, and all we've had to eat since is pasta. Pasta pasta pasta. Sure, it would be one thing if it were actually cold outside... but since we're setting temperature records... I have no good excuse. What's nice about it is that I get to participate in Ruth's weekly Presto Pasta Night more often! Woowoo!
In this instance, I'm going to blame the Washington Post Food Section. I've started grabbing it on my way out of work (it would end up in the trash anyway), and I look through it on the ride home (but only when Dave drives!). I clipped out this recipe as soon as I got home. The photo won me over. That, and its non-tomato-based sauce. I've been smitten with those lately.
What double-won me over was the aroma. Between the orange zest, chopped rosemary and garlic, and sautéed pine nuts, my nose was in heaven. I really enjoyed the mix of scents, and for me, it really added to the dish. I know, I know, I should feel that way all the time... because smell has such a strong influence over our enjoyment of a meal... but this one really stood out.
This took little time to prepare (I used packaged, fresh pasta sheets). I zested, chopped, and cooked away.. and ta-daa, dinner. We ended up splitting the 4-serving pot of pasta... it was that tasty. While I loved the super-wide ribbons of pasta, they weren't Dave's favorite. I'm not sure this dish would have worked as well with a different cut, though. I'll have to explore more pappardelle recipes to see if I can win him over.
c/o The Washington Post Food Section
8 to 10 ounces pappardelle pasta, preferably fresh
1 small orange
1 sprig rosemary
1 ½ medium cloves garlic
8 ounces smoked ham
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat; cook the pappardelle according to package directions. If using fresh pasta, cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the pasta’s color has lightened and the noodles are slightly larger; be careful not to overcook.
Meanwhile, grate the orange zest from the orange (about 1 ½ teaspoons) and set aside; reserve the orange for another use. Finely chop the rosemary leaves (about 1 tablespoon total), mince the garlic (about 2 teaspoons total) and set aside; trim the ham of excess fat and cut the meat into ¼- to ½-inch dice. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the pine nuts and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often, until they are fragrant and have picked up some golden color. Add the garlic, ham, orange zest and rosemary; cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fragrant and the ham has darkened in color. Season with pepper to taste; remove the sauce from the heat or reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting if the pasta has not finished cooking.
When the pasta is done, drain and transfer to a large bowl; pour the sauce over and toss, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and gently toss until well combined. Divide among individual plates and serve immediately, spooning equal amounts of the ham and pine nuts for each serving.
Nutrition per serving: 545 cals, 31 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 33 mg cholesterol, 822 mg sodium, 22 g protein, 45 g carbs, 2 g fiber