Sunday, April 29, 2012

Recipe Hoarding. It's a disease.

I'm a recipe hoarder.  Raise your hand if your a member of that club.  You constantly clip, save, copy, and now pin, recipes.  You're going to try them.  Really.  Someday.  When you have more time.  Well, I'm finally going to do it!  My goal for this summer is to make one new recipe each week.  I realize this won't even make a dent in the folder stuffed with recipes torn from magazines, and the dozens of pins, but it's a start.  If the family gives it their highest approval, then it will take it's honored place in my recipe binder.  If the recipe is crap, it goes in the trash never to be mentioned again.  Speaking of recipe binder...I'm also organizing all of these recipes as I go.  If you don't know me very well, I'm pretty OCD when it comes to organization, especially paper stuff.  All of these unorganized recipes makes my skin crawl just thinking about them!  But that's another post for another day (or maybe something I need to take up with a therapist).  I know it's not summer yet, but I'm slowly working my way up to my weekly recipe adventure.  So, without further ado, I give you the inaugural post of the "Summer of Using My Family as Guinea Pigs."  :)

Ham and Pasta Skillet

I pinned this a few weeks back and actually made it a couple of weeks ago. If you don't know what I mean when I say "pinned,"  check out Pinterest and jump on the bandwagon!  The original recipe was pinned from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  I had cooked a large ham and had quite a lot left over and thought this would be a great way to use the extra.  I changed some things from the original recipe so what I have here is not exactly the same as the other website.


12 oz. box of Mafalda pasta (looks like miniature lasagna noodles, but you could use any pasta)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
3 Cups fully cooked ham, diced (I used probably 4 + cups.  We like more meat in our recipes.)
1 Large sweet red pepper, diced (I used 2 red peppers.  1 didn't seem like enough.)
1/2 Medium onion, chopped (I use frozen, chopped onion - it's way faster!)
1/4 Cup minced fresh parsley
2 Garlic cloves, minced (I used 4 because we LOVE garlic!)
1/2 Teaspoon dried basil
1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 Cups chicken broth (1 - 14.5 ounce can =  1 3/4 Cup)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I used 2 handfuls because we LOVE cheese!)


Cook pasta according to package directions – only cooking until al dente since pasta will continue to cook and soak up liquid when added to the skillet. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter is melted. Add pepper, onion, and garlic and cook until vegetables are tender, about 4-6 minutes. (Add pepper first and cook a couple of minutes before onion and garlic - peppers take longer to cook).

Add ham, basil and oregano and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half (at first it looks like it will be way to “brothy” but never fear, if you are patient, it will reduce!).

Stir drained pasta into ham and vegetable mixture. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and toss. Sprinkle parsley and remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta. Serve immediately.

 TADAAAAA!  My first recipe!  Sorry, I'm no good at my food presentation.  Around here it's dig, root, and growl or you might get left out!   My family really liked it. Although, I just asked my husband how many stars he'd give it on a 5 point scale and he said 3!  Go figure.  I would give it 4 stars so let's split the difference and say 3.5 stars! :)
Anyway, it's going into the recipe binder. I have a lot of creamy types of skillet recipes so this is a nice change for us.  You could use different vegetables if you don't like peppers, like maybe mushrooms or broccoli.  It's really easy to make even if the recipe looks daunting.  We ate it with a side salad but garlic bread might have been good, too. Maybe next time.



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  1. Sounds and looks YUMMY.... I suck when it comes to making new recipes.. guess because I usually don't have all the different spices to put in there..... I might have to start buying different ones little by little... can't wait to see more .... Have a great week...

    1. I like to try new recipes. The more I do, the more my staples like herbs and spices are built up so I don't have to buy them special for each recipe all the time. :)

  2. Have you read/seen "Julie and Julia"? Reminds me of what you are doing.

    1. I haven't seen or read Julie and Julia, but I know what you're talking about. I thought about that when I started this. Hopefully I'll have other things to post too sometimes besides recipes.


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