Monday, March 3, 2014

Lemon Pasta with Ham

Lemon Pasta - made February 17, 2014
My mom's lemon tree is busily churning out more lemons than either she or I can possibly handle. My own lemon tree is getting overloaded but next to my mom's, mine looks anemic. This is a picture of my mom's tree after I harvested two bags of lemons from it. They've been left on the tree so long because we can't keep up that they're turning from yellow to orange. So this is going to be Lemon Week on my blog as I search out more ways to use them than the standard lemon bars.
I knew from past experience that I like lemon in pasta and risotto so I decided to throw together some kind of lemon pasta. A search of a variety of recipes offered some basic commonalities in most recipes: lemon juice, lemon zest, broth, milk and sometimes cheese. I didn't want a heavy sauce and preferred a more pure lemon flavor so I opted to make it without cheese. You can also safely assume I didn't have cheese in my fridge at the time as well.
This was easy to throw together, another key criteria when I cook. The sauce is very thin which is why I recommend angel hair pasta so you don't end up with big noodles and very little sauce. You can use chicken instead of ham but I liked the sweetness of the ham to complement the lemony sauce. I also liked to sprinkle lemon zest over each serving for added lemon flavor. This isn't Cordon Bleu but I liked it for its simplicity and flavor.
1/2 pound angel hair pasta, boiled al dente in salted water
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
zest from 2 lemons
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 lb ham, cut into chunks

  1. Boil pasta to al dente in salted water.
  2. Brown garlic in olive oil. Add chicken broth, zest, lemon juice, and milk. Bring to a boil then add ham and angel hair pasta. Toss to coat lightly with sauce (sauce will be thin).

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