Fettucine with ham & asparagus, pierre s. Franey


1 1/4 lbs fresh asparagus
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 lb dry fettucine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced, boiled ham (about 1/3 lb)
4 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded & diced

2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/4 lb soft goat cheese, crumbled
4 cup whipping cream
4 tbsp fresh basil or italian parsley, chopped
grated asiago or parmesan cheese to taste

How to prepare

Peel and trim the asparagus; discard the tough ends. Slice the spears on the bias into 1″ lengths. In a dutch oven or large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt and the fettucine. Boil gently according to package directions until cooked al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the asparagus, ham, tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Add the drained fettucine, goat cheese, cream, basil leaves, the reserved water and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well over medium heat until blended. Serve immediately with grated asiago or parmesan cheese on the side. Yield: makes 4 servings.

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