Hurry Up and Make This!

7:31 PM


So you may have heard some crickets over here at umommy over the past few weeks. I've been busy juggling my time here and here, in addition to chauffeuring the boys to all their never-ending after school activities, room parent duties, and making sure our house does not completely deteriorate. The one thing that is keeping my sanity is meal planning. Without it, I fear we'd be living off of cereal and takeout.

The one dish that consistently is rotation is a variation of Todd English's Couscous Carbonara with Country Ham. It sounds fancier than it really is. It's essentially any small-shaped pasta tossed in a spinach puree and diced ham. Not only do the boys cheer when we make it (I'm now doubling the recipe so they can have leftovers for lunch), but it takes less than 20 minutes to whip up. So when we're getting home after Karate and the boys are famished, I can whip this up and feel good that they are getting their veggies, some protein and whole grains.

Pasta Carbonara with Country Ham
Adapted from Todd English and Sally Sampson's The Figs Table 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced baked ham (we love Applegate Farms ham steak)
  • 1 pound orzo 
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

DIRECTIONS
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the garlic and cook until lightly toasted (2-3 minutes). Add the spinach and cook until wilted (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a blender and gradually add half and half and set aside.
  3. Reheat skillet and when hot, add butter. Add ham and cook for 2 minutes. Add reserved spinach puree and cook for 1 minutes.
  4. Add orzo and parmesan cheese, mix to combine and serve immediately.

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