Ciao! My name is Yolanda and I'd like to welcome you to my Blog! I have always had a love for cooking, baking and eating. This blog is mainly a place for me to record and share precious family recipes from those living and deceased as well as delicious recipes that my friends have given me throughout the years.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Garganelli with Ham, Peas, and Asparagus

This is a meal I can recall my mom making for dinner many times for our family when I was young.  It is a classic meal that she learned how to make growing up in Italy.  While I was in Italy this past summer, my cousin served this for a Primo Piatto course for the August Holiday, called Ferragosto.  This is a huge holiday on the 15th of August.  If you are a tourist visiting Italy, this is a terrible time to go for vacation, because tourist attractions, family run restaurants, and other businesses shut down for a few days to go on holiday with family.  If you are not a tourist and are in Italy this time visiting Italian relatives, then it is a wonderful time to spend with your family, eating a large meal, drinking good wine, and conversing.  In my mom's village (Carpinone) the whole village goes to church that morning of the holiday and follows a statue of the Madonna all around the village to the church of a famous St. Rocco.  We then go join our families for a meal at 1:00 and the following day the whole village meets again at the church the statue was dropped off at and we all walk to bring her back.  This sounds a little crazy, but it is tradition and I enjoyed participating in this.  Whenever I make this meal now, I think about dinners with my family as a kid and my holiday dinner with my family for Ferragosto in Italy.  Please feel free to add as much or as little ham, asparagus, or peas to your liking.

* 1/2 lb of Asparagus
* 1 1/2 cups of Peas (I used Frozen Peas)
* Smoked Ham from the Deli about (1/8) inches thick
* 2 pints of Heavy Cream (I used Light Cream and could taste no difference)
*  1 lb of Garganelli Pasta (My mom use to use Garganelli and my cousin in Italy used Shells, doesn't matter)
* 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
* 3 TBSP. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Cut the tips off of the asparagus and cut into large chunks
 * Heat up Olive Oil in a frying pan and cook Asparagus on medium-Medium Low heat until tender (about 15 minutes)
* Meanwhile Start boiling the Pasta and when done Drain. 
* Dice the Ham with a knife into small even pieces. 
* Once the Asparagus is tender, add the Ham and the Frozen Peas to the frying pan and stir until the Peas are cooked and the Ham is hot (about 5 minutes). 

 *  Add the Heavy Cream (or Light) along with the Grated Cheese and mix until it comes to a simmer.
* Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
* Toss with the hot Garganelli Pasta 
* Serve with some Grated Cheese on top!

Here a few photos from Ferragosto in Carpinone, Italy:
Here are the men after mass getting ready to lift the statue to walk her around the village.
My mom, brother, me, and Nonna after church ready to walk around the village following the statue.
Following the Madonna for miles with the People in the Village

Still walking with the Statue

Celebraaing Ferrogosto with a great meal with the family after walking all morning

My cousin's version of the above recipe.

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