Penne and Ham

Upon arrival in Hobe sound on Christmas Day we enjoyed a dinner of Baked Ham and Asparagus with Frank Mansell and his girlfriend Sandy Taylor. Frank’s faithful chef Kreta has loosened her grip on the kitchen just enough to allow me the honor of preparing the occasional meal for my children. On the second day after Christmas I was allowed access to make pasta for Whittier as she wasn’t invited to dinner at The Yacht club due to the rules, you must be 10 to dine there for regular dinner service, Whittie’s just 9.The dish we chose was a holiday take on pasta Carbonnara, this recipe calls for baked ham instead of prosciutto or bacon. Based on what was in the pantry we also made it with penne, generally the choice would be fettuccine or some other noodle.

For the Penne and Ham Dish:

½ box penne pasta
2 whole eggs, beat in a bowl until they begin to foam
1 cup half & half
¼ cup grated parmesan
½ cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ small white onion diced fine
1 garlic clove diced fine
½ cup baked ham diced fine
1 bunch pencil thin asparagus

Start by bringing 1 quart of water to a boil and salt it to taste, when it’s at a rolling boil, add the penne and cook for 5 minutes.

As the pasta cooks start a sautee pan on medium heat and add the onions and garlic along with olive oil. As they begin to simmer, place the asparagus in the pan and turn until its coated, then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for 1 minute, then remove to plates.

Now add the half & half to the sautee pan, followed by the eggs, stir until incorporated and then turn flame to low. Now stir until it begins to thicken. At this point the pasta is ready to drain and can be added to the egg mixture. Follow with ham and then cheese—stirring all along. When the sauce begins to tighten up, remove and plate.

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