By: Heather Tallman, Basilmomma
Now that the days are longer and the air is warmer, we are looking for meals that are both easy and healthy. No one wants to spend more time in the kitchen than they need to and this Creamy Mini Shell Pasta with Ham, Asparagus and Peas recipe fits the bill.
Loaded with healthy spring veggies, whole wheat pasta and a light creamy sauce, this is a pasta dish you can feel good about eating. Take advantage of seasonal vegetables because seasonal means affordable. Fresh asparagus is at an all-year low and frozen sweet peas are always ripe and ready to eat. Frozen fresh from the fields, frozen peas are a great source of vegetable protein.
I like to saute up a bit of freshly sliced, low-sodium ham for this recipe to make it a completely filling meal Feel free to make this dish meatless to fit your dietary requirements. One complete recipe can be made for under $12 and feed a family of 4 as a main dish serving.
Creamy Mini Shell Pasta With Ham, Asparagus and Peas
1/2 lb thinly sliced deli ham (low sodium and preservatives), cut into small pieces (I cut into strips with kitchen shears)
1 pound whole wheat mini shell pasta
a pat of butter
2 C frozen sweet peas
1 C chopped fresh asparagus that has had ends trimmed off
3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
1 lemon, use the juice of 1/2
6 ounces Parmesan cheese
Boil the pasta in a large pot.
While it is cooking add the olive oil and butter to a large skillet on medium heat.
Add the ham and cook until lightly browned. Turn the heat down to a low setting.
Add the asparagus and let soften in pan for 2 minutes.
Add the peas and saute for 1 minute.
Add the cream and stir, gently.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta liquid in case you need it to thin out the pasta in the end.
Add the hot pasta to the skillet.
Squeeze the lemon over the pasta.
Stir this together and let it incorporate.
Remove from heat and add the cheese.
Give the finished pasta fresh ground pepper and salt if you need it.
See what Heather had to say about making Warm Ham Pasta Salad at Door to Wellness!