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Pasta with Creamy Ham and Mustard Sauce

December 23, 2009

Creamy Ham Pasta

This is one of those dinners that I threw together in an attempt to use up some of the things in my refrigerator and I am so pleased with that I’m adding it to the repertoire of regularly weeknight dinners. Easy, fast, and super delicious, and even better, it smells exactly like a ham and cheese sandwich, though there is no cheese to speak of here. Just onions, ham, cream, oregano, and a bit of dijon mustard. This is one of those meals that makes me think I shouldn’t have figured out how to make an easy and fast cream sauce, because this kind of deliciousness should probably require more work.

I topped the pasta with some breaded eggplant cutlets that I made and froze a few months ago. You can get these from Trader Joe’s, or you can add another vegetable of your choosing. Peas would be a natural in this dish, and cauliflower would be pretty terrific as well. Just boil the cauliflower (or broccoli or carrots or potatoes or…) with the pasta and stir it in at the end.

Creamy Ham Pasta with Eggplant

You might want to try to get this one in before the New Year, though, at least if you’re planning to make some kind of resolutions that curtail the use of heavy cream in your diet. Personally, I think a resolution like that would never stick in my household, but I know some of you have more willpower when it comes to dairy than I do.

Pasta with Creamy Ham and Mustard Sauce

  • about 2 cups rigatoni or penne pasta
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 a small onion, diced finely
  • about 4 or 5 slices of deli ham, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • about 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put a large pot of water on to boil, and cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the olive oil, then add the onions. Let the onions cook, stirring only once or twice, until they are slightly browned, for about five minutes. Add the ham, and cook for another minute or two. Then add the oregano, cream, and mustard (and peas, if you’re using them) and stir well. Bring the cream mixture to a boil and let it cook for about another four or five minutes, until it’s thickened into a delicious sauce, whisking occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

Creamy Ham Pasta with Eggplant

Drain the pasta, and stir it into the cream sauce until it’s well coated. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan, if you’re feeling fancy. Or top it with some breaded eggplant, like I did.

Creamy Ham Pasta with Eggplant

Easy, fast, and decadent: Now that is my kind of meal.

One Comment leave one →
  1. vintagejenta permalink
    December 23, 2009 2:59 pm

    Dijon (and sometimes yellow mustard) does have the amazing quality of making buttery white sauces taste like cheese. I often add just a dash to cream cheese mac ‘n’ cheese.

    I would definitely need a green veg with this though. Peas would be okay. Fresh green beans are my favorite. Broccoli would also be good. Basically, it’s mac ‘n’ cheese, minus the cheese and plus ham! I feel like this would also be amazing with boiled waxy potatoes instead of pasta. Yum!

    P.S. I am also eating down my fridge/cupboards. Go us!

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