It has been a busy week. We finally got around to hanging pictures and cleaning out the last of our moving boxes. It’s been a little over a year since we moved out here and we just haven’t taken the time to finish all those little decorating touches. I have to let those decisions marinate for a while, see how we actually want to use the living space. So after a long day of decorating decisions, I need a quick, easy dinner. Since ordering a pizza delivery is not an option, this is one of go to’s when I am too tired to cook. Ham and Asparagus Pesto Pasta.I try to keep some cubed ham in the freezer. Fresh asparagus is best, but in a pinch, use fresh broccoli instead. This summer I promise to make fresh pesto and freeze it but for now, I cheat with jarred pesto from Italy. Get it in the foreign foods aisle at the grocery store.
So, get your water on to boil. Make it a nice big pot and don’t forget to salt the water. While your water is heating, rinse the asparagus and break off the tough ends. Slice it into 1 inch pieces or about the length of your pasta.
Once your water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and the asparagus. Keep it at a nice boil for as long as it takes to get the pasta done, 11-13 minutes most likely. In the mean time, heat the ham in the microwave or warm it through in a skillet. It should take just a couple of minutes.
Once the pasta is done, drain off the water but save out maybe 1/4 of a cup. Add the warm ham to the pot with the pasta and asparagus. Plop a couple nice big spoon fulls of pesto into the pot and stir until it is all combined. Add enough of the reserved pasta water to give you a nice creamy, delicious sauce.
To serve, add some good quality Parmesan or Romano cheese over the top. That’s it. So simple but oh so good.
Ham and Asparagus Pesto Pasta
A quick and easy all in one pasta dish on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes.
- 1 16 oz package Penne Pasta
- 2 lbs asparagus or two bunches
- 2 8 oz packages Diced Ham
- 2-4 tbsp basil pesto like DeLallo
- Parmesan or Romano cheese shredded or grated
- salt for the pasta water
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While water is heating, rinse, trim and cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces.
Once the water is at a rolling boil, add pasta and asparagus to the pot. Cook per the pasta directions probably 10 to 13 minutes.
Heat ham through in microwave or skillet
Once pasta is al dente the asparagus will be cooked as well. Drain pasta water reserving a about 1/4 cup for the sauce.
Add warm ham and a couple of spoonfuls of pesto to the pasta and asparagus. Stir to combine. Add enough pasta water to create a creamy sauce.
Serve hot topped with a bit of good quality Parmesan or Romano cheese