Monday, January 29, 2018

Linguini with Ham and Mushrooms

The grocery store that sells our favorite sliced ham isn't nearby, so it's always a treat when we're in the neighborhood and can buy a pound. I happened to have mushrooms, too, so ham and mushroom linguini seemed like just the ticket for a bleary, drizzly winter day.

There's nothing terribly tricky about this, but two tips will make it come out better. Keep an eye on the garlic. You do not want it to crisp up. Also, add the ham at the very end so it will stay soft. Scoop out some of the linguini water. You will not need all of it. Judge how much you need (probably about 1/2 cup) to make a little bit of sauce.

I did not add more salt because we didn't feel it needed it. However, you may wish to add salt and pepper.

Linguini with Ham and Mushrooms

1/2 pound linguini
olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of thyme
12-16 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
about 3/4 cup sliced ham, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
splash of heavy cream
shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan

Cook linguini according to package instructions. Before draining the linguini scoop out about 3/4 cup of the cooking water and set aside. After draining the linguini, immediately toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.

While the linguini is cooking, heat the butter in a pan, add the mushrooms and saute. When the mushrooms have softened, add the minced garlic and thyme. After a couple of minutes, toss in the halved tomatoes. When the mushrooms are cooked through, add a little of the pasta water to make the sauce. (NOTE: You probably will not need the full 3/4 cup. Start with 1/3 of a cup and see if you need more.) Cook briefly. Add the ham and stir to combine and warm the ham. Remove pan from heat and stir in a splash heavy cream.

Place linguini on plates and top with the ham and mushroom mixture and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

After adding linguini water.

Add ham almost last.

Remove from heat and mix in a splash of cream.

Top linguini with ham and mushroom mixture.
Sprinkle with cheese and serve!