Although this quick, pantry-fied sauce could accompany any pasta, it seems tailor-made for the wide ribbons called pappardelle. Think of them as silky roads for the bits of smoked ham, rosemary and sauteed pine nuts to skip across. Cooked and smoked turkey or even smoked gouda could stand in for the ham; add the latter once the sauce is off the heat.
Serve with roasted asparagus, which can be lightly dressed with olive oil and the juice of the orange that was zested for this recipe.
- 8 to 10 ounces pappardelle pasta, preferably fresh (see TIP, below)
- 1 small orange
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 1/2 medium cloves garlic
- 8 ounces smoked ham
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat; cook the pappardelle according to package directions. If using fresh pasta, cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the pasta's color has lightened and the noodles are slightly larger; be careful not to overcook.
Meanwhile, grate zest from the orange (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) and set aside; reserve the orange for another use (such as an asparagus side dish). Finely chop the rosemary leaves (about 1 tablespoon total), mince the garlic (about 2 teaspoons total) and set aside; trim the ham of excess fat and cut the meat into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the pine nuts and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often, until they are fragrant and have picked up some golden color. Add the garlic, ham, orange zest and rosemary; cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fragrant and the ham has darkened in color. Season with pepper to taste; remove the sauce from the heat or reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting if the pasta has not finished cooking.
When the pasta is done, drain and transfer to a large bowl; pour the sauce over and toss, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and gently toss until well combined. Divide among individual plates and serve immediately, spooning equal amounts of the ham and pine nuts for each serving.
Adapted from "2500 Recipes Everyday to Extraordinary," by Andrew Schloss with Ken Bookman (Robert Rose, 2007).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.