The name of this dish is my crummy way of translating “Pasta that wishes it was spring”. A friend of mine (whose camera I used for all of these pictures, and who took some of them) and I were headed back to my place after a day in the park, and we decided we were hungry. He lives not far from me, so we were discussing the contents of our respective pantries. I had ham; he had peas and alfredo. I started ruminating about a cross between pasta primavera (which is usually pasta with fresh spring veggies and olive oil) and pasta alfredo, adding ham ’cause he and I both love meat. (Hard to believe I was a vegetarian for three years, right? But I digress . . .)
He went to an Italian grocery to pick up the pasta twirls we were both craving, and I set out to find a nice light wine. This is what the helpful guy at Domenick’s (our favourite neighborhood liquor store) recommended:
It’s locally made and was light, slightly sweet, and very inexpensive. YUM!
Here are just a few of the ingredients. If I’d had them, I would have used fresh frozen peas, because they’re not as squishy. I also think this might have been great with asparagus sautéed in garlic, but I didn’t have any and I don’t think my friend would have eaten it anyway. As you can see, I used jarred sauce, which may cause some people to scoff, but I’m not too worried about it. I can’t make alfredo sauce. I’ve tried. I’ve experimented. I’ve used different recipes. My housemate even tried to show me how she makes hers (which is very tasty), but I just can’t seem to get it right, so I’m ok with jarred sauce.
This was another of my “I’m just going to wing it” recipes. I boiled the pasta and pulled out our biggest, deepest skillet. I poured in some olive oil and sautéed garlic and purple onion, then added the ham when the garlic and onion were soft. Once the pasta was done, I drained it and added it to the pan (lowering the heat), stirring to get everything well mixed. Next came the sauce. There wasn’t a full jar left when we started, so after emptying it into the saucepan, I poured some half’n’half in the jar and shook it to coax out the remaining dregs of alfredoey-goodness (thanks to Rachel Ray for that tip). The final addition was the peas, and I did use a few seasonings, though it’s been so long, I can’t remember what I used. Probably rosemary.
All it needed when it hit the table was a little salt and pepper. It was a nice light dish, but sufficiently filling, and we both agreed it made great left-overs for lunches days afterward.