Mushroom, ham and cream sauce

Mushroom, ham, and cream sauce | Photo by BNF

In an effort to get rid of leftover Easter ham last week, I ended up stumbling across this recipe for “mushroom, ham and cream sauce.”

Speaking of Easter leftovers, I ended up making a total of 24 deviled eggs and 6 eggs worth of egg salad (which I forgot I hate).

Anyone else remember the picnic scene (@ 1.45 min. in) from “Big Top Pee Wee” with the egg salad?

“Mmmmm, egg salady!” – Pee Wee, right before chucking the entire sandwich into the woods while Winnie isn’t looking.

(We may or may not have colored way too many eggs for only two people to eat.)

But back to the mushroom, ham, and cream sauce.

My husband keeps trying to steer me away from cream sauces and I keep steering us right back.

This sauce is really delicious – ham and mushrooms go so well in many things, like quiches, pizzas, frittatas, etc. Add a little bit of cream and parmesan, and we’re in business.

You can really taste all of the flavors in this.

I was a little skeptical when it didn’t call for garlic, but, honestly, I didn’t even miss it.

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, either white or cremini
  •  3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shallot or onion, chopped fine
  • salt
  • black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
  • 6 ounces unsmoked ham, cut into very narrow strips
  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 medium package of fettuccine
For tossing the pasta:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus additional at the table

Directions:

  1. Dice mushrooms into 1/4 inch cubes and set aside.
  2. Choose a saute pan or skillet that can subsequently accommodate the mushrooms without crowding. Put in the butter and chopped shallot or onion. Turn on the heat to medium and cook the shallot or onion until is has become colored a pale gold.
  3. turn up the heat to high and add the diced mushrooms. Stir thoroughly to coat well, and when the mushrooms have soaked up all the butter, turn the heat down to low, add salt and a few grindings of pepper, and turn the mushrooms over 2 or 3 times.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium, add the ham, and stir while it cooks for about a minute or less. Add the cream, and cook just long enough for the cream to become reduced and slightly thickened. Taste and correct for salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.
  5. Choose a large pan or pot that can contain all the pasta without piling it high. Put in the 2 tablespoons butter and 6 tablespoons cream for tossing the pasta, and turn on the heat to low. When the butter melts, stir to amalgamate it with the cream, then turn off the heat.
  6. Drain the pasta when done to al dente. Transfer to the serving pan containing butter and cream. Turn on the heat to low and toss the noodles, turning them thoroughly to coat them well. Add half the mushroom sauce, tossing it with the noodles. Add the 1/2 cup grated parmesan, toss again, and turn off the heat. Pour the remainder of the mushroom sauce over the pasta and serve at once, with additional grated parmesan on the side.

Enjoy!

[Source: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan, p. 195-196]

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