Baked Pasta with Ham and Peas (Pasta al Forno con Cotto e Piselli)

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Kees is working on the boat and I contribute by luring friends to help out by providing dinner. After a day of hard work, a baked pasta dish seemed like a good idea. This was also very practical, as I could prepare everything at home and bring the dish to the boat to finish in the oven there.

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This baked pasta with ham and peas is as tasty as it is easy to prepare. You can use any type of short pasta for this dish. For additional color, I used fusilli tricolori. I was feeding a crowd, so you may want to make only half of the recipe. Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

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Serves 10-12

800 grams (1.8 lb) fusilli or other short pasta

600 grams (1.3 lb) ham, diced

600 grams (1.3 lb) thinly sliced onions

600 grams (4 cups) peas, frozen is fine

300 grams (10.5 oz) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

250 grams (1 cup) ricotta

500 grams (18 oz) mozzarella, diced

salt

4 Tbsp butter, divided

For the bechamel

1 litre (4 cups) milk

100 grams (2/3 cup) flour

100 grams (7 Tbsp) butter

salt and freshly ground white pepper

freshly grated nutmeg

Preparation

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Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the onions. Season with salt.

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Cook the onions, stirring regularly, over medium heat until they are soft and slightly golden, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

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Add the ham and stir over medium high heat until you can smell the ham.

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Add the peas.

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Stir until the peas are barely cooked, then turn off the heat.

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When the water boils, add salt and the pasta. Set the timer for the time indicated for al dente on the package.

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Meanwhile, make the bechamel. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat up the milk in another saucepan or the microwave. It should not boil but you should see bubbles at the edge.

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When the butter foams, add the flour.

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Stir for a couple of minutes over low heat.

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Add all of the hot milk at once.

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Whisk quickly to avoid lumps.

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Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the bechamel thickens. Then turn off the heat.

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Add the ricotta and freshly grated nutmeg.

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Add 250 grams of the freshly grated parmigiano.

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Stir until the parmigiano has melted.

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Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

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When the timer beeps, drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

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Combine the pasta, the bechamel sauce, and the ham-onions-peas mixture and stir until well mixed.

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Butter a large (30 x 40 cm, 12 x 16 inch) oven proof dish.

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Put the pasta mixture into the dish and level the top.

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Arrange the diced mozzarella on top.

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Sprinkle with the remaining parmigiano.

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Bake for about 30 minutes at 200ºC/400ºF, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.

Flashback

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If you can find good chicken, then preparing coq au vin sous-vide is a superb way to serve it.

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12 thoughts on “Baked Pasta with Ham and Peas (Pasta al Forno con Cotto e Piselli)

  1. Bella ricetta. Adoro la pasta al forno, questa versione classica è deliziosa. Con lo stesso sugo di besciamella, prosciutto e piselli io condisco anche i tortellini e li ripassò in forno in una pirofila coperta di pasta sfoglia.

    Liked by 1 person

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