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Menu Plan for Spring I: Week 3, Thursday

Pasta with Red Beans and Ham

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

            Prosciutto is well-known, but all Mediterranean countries have many varieties of local, dry-cured hams with a big range in prices.  For this I buy the cheaper cuts in thick slices.  A small amount adds a big flavor.  Use the larger quantity of traditional pink or deli ham if you prefer.  Or leave it out for a vegetarian version.

Pasta with Red Beans and Ham

Total time: 30 minutes 
     Beans are a major vegetable in both France and Spain, but are normally sold plain, rarely flavored or spiced.  Frying the chili powder releases more of the flavor.

Pasta with Red Beans and Ham Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Cooking schedule: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large skillet with lid, pot and colander for pasta

Put water on high heat for pasta
Chop onion, celery, pepper
Mince garlic
Sauté chili powder
Add onion, celery, pepper, garlic, sauté
Drain, rinse beans

Cook pasta
Cut ham, add to skillet, sauté
Chop tomatoes
Add beans, tomatoes, juices, herbs, cover, simmer
Chop chilis if needed, add
     Pause while it all cooks
Drain pasta
Adjust heat in beans if needed, remove bay leaves
Add to pasta, toss well
Serve