One of the things that I've been trying to work on, and I actually think I'm doing better at, is using up stuff that's in the fridge and pantry. Of course that usually means I've found a recipe that uses up some leftovers or I've made a list of what's in the pantry and go looking for recipes that use the stuff up. One of these days I want to just be able to look in my fridge, see that I have on hand and throw together a meal without having to go check out my cookbooks or look on the internet to see what to make.
This is a really simple recipe. But it is a recipe, not something I threw together. It comes from the December 2009 issue of Everyday Food magazine. It was in a section about using leftover holiday ham. Which, since we buy a really big Honeybaked for Christmas Day, I still have packages of in the freezer.
This is the type of recipe I need to commit to memory. Any leftover meat can be chopped up and added in place of the ham. Not exactly rocket science, not the most complex of flavors, but it gets dinner on the table quickly and uses up stuff in the fridge. Works for me.
PASTA WITH HAM AND MUSHROOMS
(Everyday Food December 2009)
12 ounces pasta
1 large yellow onion, sliced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cup ham pieces
grated pecorino cheese
(Note: The recipe didn't have the ingredients listed out. I did that so that you can see how simple the ingredients are. Recipe below is how it was published in the magazine.)
Cook 12 ounces pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. Meanwhile in a large skillet, combine 1 sliced large yellow onion with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high until beginning to brown, 3-5 minutes. Add 1 pound sliced mushrooms; cook until browned about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups ham pieces, cook until warm. Toss with pasta, adding enough pasta water to create a sauce that coats pasta. Serve topped with chopped parsley and grated pecorino cheese.
Note: I'm thinking any sort of good tube pasta would work in this. I used a pre-sliced package of mushrooms that was probably 3/4 of a pound.
Note: I did not use parsley because I didn't have any on hand. I did use some shredded parmesan on top.
Note: I didn't use a lot of the pasta water. There seemed to be a bit too much liquid and nothing was "coating" the pasta.
Again, a very simple recipe that I need to have in my repertoire so that I can pull together something like this anytime I have any leftover meat.