italian recipes: pappardelle with veggies and speck

Rob and I have always been fans of prosciutto, but when we discovered speck last month it took our love of Italian ham to a whole new level - obsession perhaps? Speck is amazingly delicious, with a tasty, subtle juniper flavor.

One of our new "go to" dishes when we're really hungry, but too lazy to invest a lot of time is Pappardelle with a heaping portion of some really yummy veggie/ham topping. Our recipe follows...

Pappardelle with peas, onion, garlic and speck (serves 2)

  • Half package of pappardelle (although any pasta will do!)
  • 1/3 can of peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5 slices of speck (any prosciutto will work), choppped
  • Butter and olive oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil. In the meantime, pour about two tablespoons of olive oil into a pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in onions and garlic and cook for about 6 minutes. Then, add in speck. You want the garlic, onions and speck to brown slightly, but not burn.

Once the brown bits start to stick to the bottom of the pan, add in about 1-2 tablespoons of butter. This will help loosen up the brown bits and also form the light oil/butter sauce. If that doesn't work, add in a splash of white wine to loosen things up. Add in the peas when the pasta is about 1-2 minutes from done; at the same time add salt and pepper to taste.

After you drain the pasta, place it in a serving dish and top with the pea and speck mixture.

Note: we made versions of this recipe with mushrooms, zucchine and other veggies. You can substitute for whatever you prefer!