Monday 9 November 2015

Speedy Pappardelle Pasta with Parma Ham, Mushrooms and Peas

Guess what; this is the first time I've ever had pappardelle pasta. It was fresh egg pasta too. I don't know why but that somehow feels like a treat from the regular dried cupboard companion. It's weird to think that the only thing different is the fact that it is does fresh equate to special nowadays? (Now that's a question.) 

I suppose it just feels special to me because firstly, it's more authentic, as if I'm sat in Italy with the sun shining down on me (which of course makes everything seem better!) Eating a big bowlful that's been lovingly made and handcrafted from scratch...that reminds me - I've still never made my own pasta before, I've been meaning to for awhile now but I guess having a pasta machine is quite a crucial part to any success. 

Secondly, fresh pasta is special because it takes so little time. I mean I'm not complaining that 8-12 minutes is hardly long but when you can do it under half that amount I'm suddenly very impressed!!

But enough about my rave on fresh pasta ... 
This recipe is a firm family favourite. I'd say we have it at least once every 2 weeks ( usually we have it with dried pasta tubes though. not pappardelle as this is my first time remember?) A standby supper as it's so delicious and everyone loves it; which is very hard with my brother and dad who are fussy eaters believe me!! It's great because it does what it says on the tin -  speedy for sure. Oh and don't worry, it's still fast with dried pasta, just a whole 4-8 minutes slower if you can cope with that? 

The sauce, although you can't see much on the photo for which I can assure you there is, the pasta just sucked it all up by the time I got a decent photo! ooops, is made simply by combining cream cheese with crème fraîche. As you can imagine is goes all nice and silky smooth which coats the pasta just nice and there's the right amount of creaminess, not too rich like it would be if it was all made with cream.

Speedy  Pappardelle  Pasta  with  Parma  Ham,  Mushrooms  and  Peas

Serves  4


180g parma ham, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
250g mixture of chestnut and closed cup white mushrooms, halved or quartered
500g fresh pappardelle pasta
160g frozen peas
200g cream cheese, preferably a flavoured one with garlic and herbs
150g crème fraîche
salt and pepper
50g parmesan, grated
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley


Heat a frying pan until really hot and add the pieces of parma ham. Fry until crisp then set aside on a plate and keep warm in a low oven. Add the rapeseed oil to the empty hot frying pan and then pour in the chopped mushrooms, fry for 2 minutes. 

Meanwhile cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, usually 3 minutes for fresh pasta. Towards the last minute of the pasta cooking time add in the frozen peas. Drain then set aside, reserving a few ladlefuls of pasta cooking water for the sauce later.

To the frying pan with the mushrooms which have been cooking for 2 minutes add in the cream cheese and crème fraîche. Bring to the boil over a low-medium heat, stirring. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and then add the cooked pasta, peas and 1 ladle of the pasta water. You may need to add more if you want it more runny. 

Add half of the crispy parma ham pieces to the pasta and stir everything together. Serve onto plates and grate over parmesan and sprinkle over the rest of the parma ham pieces. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.