Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pasta with Peas & Ham....made a little lighter!

So I don't know about you.. but after we serve ham for a holiday dinner, we always have a bunch of ham leftover. One of my family's favorite ways to use it up is with this Pasta with Peas & Ham dish. It comes together pretty quick too... bonus! I make a few tweaks on the traditional recipe to lighten it up. First, instead of the traditional heavy cream, I mix equal parts milk & half & half. Secondly, I add about half the cheese as traditionally called for.  I find the dish to be a bit lighter. I have another tip at the end on how to cut out some of the calories too....
12oz pasta (penne or rotini)
3 TBSP butter
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 clove chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups ham chopped into bite size pieces
1 1/2 cups peas (frozen)
1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup half & half combined. 
Zest of one lemon
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente
2. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium high heat until melted and add the onion. Cook until the onion is softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute.
3. Add the milk mixture and cook until bubbly, 5-7 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
4. Add the peas, ham, parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Mix until cheese begins to melt.
5. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Serve with freshly grated cheese.
I have also subbed out the traditional pasta for zucchini noodles and it is also a delicious option! Just saute some zoodles in a bit of olive oil until softened and add to the sauce. 
My crew loves this recipe! We always make it in the days after Christmas & Easter. Hope your family enjoys it too!

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