Saturday, January 30, 2010

Garlic, Pasta, and Ham Soup

This is an excellent soup for a cold winter day.

  • Garlic cloves from 3 garlic bulbs, unpeeled
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of oregano
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Rind from Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
  • 4 oz ham, small dice
  • 4 oz small pasta shells
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Bring garlic cloves, bay leaf, oregano and the Parmigiano Reggiano rind to a boil.
  • Lower to a simmer for about half an hour or until garlic is soft.
  • Drain the broth through a colander into a large bowl and pour the broth and the Parmigiano back into the cooking pot.
  • Run the garlic cloves under cold water until cool and then squeeze the garlic out of the peel into a blender.
  • Blend with some of the reserved broth to form a milky liquid.
  • Pour the garlic liquid into the broth.

  • Add the ham.

  • Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer adding the pasta cooking until al dente.
  • Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Making Mushroom and Ham Lasagna

My boss gave me a ham for Christmas. A huge ham and two people, means lots of leftover ham! My freezer is full.

Here's a photo essay of my first use of the leftovers.

Soaking porcini mushrooms.

Chopped, fresh button mushrooms.

Diced onions.

Melting butter.

Cooking the onions.

Adding crushed tomatoes.

Adding chopped flat leaf parsley.

Adding the porcini mushrooms.

Adding the porcini mushroom water.

Adding the button mushrooms.

Melting butter for Bechamel sauce.

Heating milk for Bechamel sauce.

Adding the milk to the flour and butter for the Bechamel sauce.
Julienned ham.

Adding Bechamel sauce to the mushroom mixture once the porcini water has cooked away.

Spreading a little Bechamel in the bottom of the casserole.

Layering the mushroom mixture, ham and parmigiano reggiano with cooked lasagna noodles.

Finished product.