Every year I have a dilemma at Easter. My husband and I both enjoy ham, especially Honey Baked Ham, but the smallest ham is actually quite large for just two people. We have Petit Macaron now, but he’s still rather picky at 15 months old, so he’s not helping out with ham consumption.

That means we got lots of leftovers! Ham sandwiches are awesome, but there are only so many sandwiches you can eat. I froze some of the ham, but needed to come up with some other ham dishes. I also had some asparagus and peas hanging out in the refrigerator, so I decided a pasta would be perfect.

Oh man, I’m so glad I made this pasta. I worried that the sweetest of the ham might be weird, but it all came together so nicely. We loved it so much that I just had to share it with you all. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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Pasta with Goat Cheese, Ham, and Spring Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) pasta*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion (or 1 shallot), peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced**
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into roughly 1-inch pieces, ends trimmed off
  • 16 ounces (2 cartons) fresh cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh peas (frozen would work as well)
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus some for garnish
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta al dente in a large pot of generously-salted water, according to package instructions. Once the pasta is nearly ready, scoop out 1 cup of pasta water and reserve it on the side (to be used in the recipe later). Then drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a hot pan, and add the onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the asparagus and mushrooms, and continue sautéing for another 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened. Stir in the garlic and peas, then cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add the ham and give a final stir to mix to incorporate. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  3. In a separate small mixing bowl, add the goat cheese, milk, parmesan and 1/2 cup of the reserved hot pasta water. Whisk until combined.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add the ham and vegetable mixture as well as the goat cheese sauce to the pasta, then toss to combine. If the sauce is too thick, you can stir in an extra 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved hot pasta water to thin it out. Taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed. Garnish with extra Parmesan and black pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

*For the pasta, I used penne, but farfalle or rotini would work great

**I used 3 Dorot garlic cubes – these are the best! You can get them in the freezer section at Trader Joes.

Recipe Adapted from Gimme Some Oven’s Pasta with Goat Cheese, Chicken, Asparagus, and Mushrooms