Day 149–Pasta with Ham and Roasted Asparagus

We are nearing the end of our NC asparagus season. Asparagus and strawberries always seem to leave too soon! We received a beautiful bundle of local asparagus in our Produce Box this week and I’m using it to make one of our favorite dishes–pasta with ham and asparagus. You can saute the asparagus for this dish, but I love roasting it–roasting really brings out the flavor. This is a quick and easy weeknight dish. We’re using the last of our Christmas smoked ham that has been living in the freezer. I tell you, that was one wonderful gift! Instead of a  ham steak, you could use pancetta or prosciutto instead. You don’t need a lot–just enough for flavor. Here is the recipe:

Pasta with Ham and Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 smoked ham steak, diced and bone removed
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus, rinsed of sand
  • 8 oz. fresh or dried fettucine
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated (about 1 c., but more if you like)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put water in a stock pot and heat to boil for pasta.
  3. Trim tough ends from the asparagus. Cut asparagus spears into 2″ pieces. Put asparagus pieces in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Put asparagus in a baking dish in an even layer. Roast for 20 minutes or so, until they are soft and a little browned.
  5. Heat a skillet and cook the ham pieces until browned.
  6. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, reserving 1 c. of pasta water for sauce.
  7. Add pasta back into pot, along with ham, asparagus pieces and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cheese and stir. Add pasta water if needed to make a light sauce.
  8. Serve with a green salad and you’ve got dinner!
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Day 95–Easter Menu and Honey Dijon Ham

Easter eggs

I love making Easter supper. Maybe it’s the cute bunnies and eggs that decorate our table, maybe it’s the ham. Maybe it’s that all my holiday cooking is a safe 4 months behind me and I’m ready to tackle a big meal again. This year, we are having a locavore Easter feast (dessert is our exception) and I am ready!

The centerpiece of our Easter supper is a locally produced, mini boneless ham from Wilson County. We had one of these back in January and it was AMAZING. The recipe is below. Here is our menu:

  • Honey Dijon ham from Wilson County with NC honey
  • Roasted asparagus from Johnston County
  • Broccoli salad w/organic broccoli from New Hanover County
  • Deviled eggs from Durham
  • Whole wheat buttermilk biscuits w/wheat from Benson and buttermilk from Chapel Hill
  • Nutella silk pie (homemade from grocery store ingredients)

Whether you celebrate Passover, Easter, the Spring Equinox or Earth Day, I hope you have some wonderful celebrations centering on the local spring bounty from your area farms!

Honey Dijon Ham

5-6 lb. boneless, uncooked ham

1/2 c. local honey

3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 c. water

  1. Remove ham from refrigerator and packaging and let stand for 60 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Place ham in a shallow roasting pan. Add water to bottom of the pan and cover the ham with foil.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes covered.
  5. Combine honey, mustard and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  6. Uncover ham and baste with honey mustard. Continue basting every 30 minutes until ham is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. In my oven, this is about 1.5 hours more.
  7. When ham temperature reaches 160, remove from oven, baste again and let rest 10 minutes.
  8. Carve and serve to your astonishingly hungry family!