Ham Pasta Salad
Active time: 30 min. Total time: 30 min.
Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)
Our Ham Pasta Salad is a great way to use leftover glazed ham—the lemon dressing brightens it up for Easter and offsets the ham’s sweetness, while the fresh parsley adds sprigs of color. The secret to the sauce is using the pasta water, so remember to keep it—if you do dump it out on accident, you can just use chicken stock. This is best served at room temperature. It’s still good after it’s been refrigerated, but the pasta will soak up some of the dressing. There’s also room for flavor variations based on your preferences: You could substitute fresh broccoli for broccoli rabe, add in even more ham, or incorporate lemon zest for a tangier salad.
- 12 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta
- 2 cups frozen English peas, thawed
- 6 cups coarsely chopped fresh broccoli rabe (about 10 oz.)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped shallot (from 1 large shallot)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (about 3 garlic cloves)
- 2 cups 1/2-in. cooked ham cubes (about 12 oz)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
How to Make It
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Stir in pasta; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and broccoli rabe, and cook 2 more minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Rinse and drain pasta under cold water until cooled; set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add ham, salt, and pepper to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until ham starts to lightly brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup cooking water, and bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Transfer ham mixture to a large bowl; add pasta mixture, and toss to coat. Stir in parsley, feta, and lemon juice.
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