Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ham & Pasta Skillet Dinner

Once spring rolls around and the weather starts getting nicer I like to start making recipes that are a little "lighter". By lighter I mean not the creamy, comfort food like casseroles that we all like to fall back on during a bitter cold winter night. I find spring to be a great time to start experimenting with these lighter dishes, not only because the temperatures are starting to slowly climb, but also so when the boiler room hot temps hit in summer, I know which recipes I can fall back on for a delicious supper that's not going to heat up my kitchen!

I found this recipe over at My Kitchen Cafe and was wooed by it mostly for the simlicity of preparation but also for the simple ingredients it calls for. I also figured that it's a great recipe to be trying right now, as you can use some of that leftover ham from Easter this past weekend! The real winning factor was that it was a hit at the supper table! Hubs loved it, I loved it...and I'm pretty sure baby loved it judging by the kicks and increase in activity going on in his little cave of my tummy :)


...4 c. pasta, cooked al dente (I used penne rigate)
...3 T. olive oil
...1 T. butter
...3 c. fully cooked ham, cubed
...1 green pepper, chopped into chunks
...1/2 onion, chopped
...1/4 tsp. garlic powder or garlic salt
...1/2 tsp. basil
...1/2 tsp. oregeno
...1 1/2 c. chicken broth (I made some with a boullion cube)
...1 T. lemon juice (freshly squeezed or bottled)
...3/4 c. shredded cheese (I have pictured grated parmesan. That is a mistake on my part. It shold be shredded)


In a large skillet, heat up olive oil and butter until butter is melted over medium heat. Add green pepper, onion and garlic powder and cook for 5 minutes. Add ham basil and oregeno, cooking for another 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. After simmering is complete, the liquid should be reduced by half, and will continue reducing as you finish the last few steps. Stir in drained pasta to mixture and let cook a few minutes more, until entire mixture is heated through. Toss with cheese. Sprinkle with a little bit of shredded cheese before serving.

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