About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Embogoné - Cranberry Beans, Sage, and Rosemary Sauce | Main | Sausage and Cream Sauce »

Asparagus Sauce with Ham and Cream


Once again, you get to hear me say that this is a fantastic recipe and you should give it a try. Today's recipe is Asparagus Sauce wtih Ham and Cream, which Marcella suggests is best served over penne pasta.

I fixed another pasta dish 2 days ago that was rich and full of cream. I wasn't looking forward to this dish tonight, as I really wasn't in the mood for something heavy. Was it heavy? Not really. Was it heavenly? Absolutely!

This dish was so quick and easy to make. I had it on the plate in under 30 minutes, probably more like 20 minutes. What other dish that tastes heavenly, a combination of sweet butter, creamy whipping cream, salty ham and parmesan, and that more astrigent taste of asparagus, can you prepare in such a short time period?

The process here is cook asparagus in boiling water until tender. Remove from pan, cool, and slice into small pieces. Drain water from pan, dry, and then in the same pan add butter and sliced ham. Cook a couple of minutes, and add the chopped asparagus. After a minute or so, add heavy cream and cook a minute or two until reduced. Add this along with grated parmesan cheese to the cooked pasta and toss until thoroughly combined. YUM!!! I enjoyed my plate with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Another one to add to the recipe file of definately make again.

Comments (5)

Love asparagus in pasta. And it is a natural with cream sauces, don't you think? I've made a similar dish with pancetta, now I'll have to try ham instead.


And it's so pretty, with the pale yellow pasta, pink ham and bright green asparagus. Looks delicious.

This looks and sounds delicious. Those ingredients really are an inspired combination!

Thanks! And we love hearing your comments. Thanks for taking the time to leave them. Cindy

Marcella Hazan:

What makes this dish so easy to take, not to say irresistible, is a finely tuned balance of flavors. For it really to work, the ham should be plain, boiled ham, Parma cotto if you can find it, otherwise good quality, sliced, deli ham that has NOT been smoked. Smoke is a very assertive flavor, and its use in Italy is limited to a rather narrow geographic area of the northeast. It is not common to Emilia-Romagna. I would also prefer not to use prosciutto because of its saltiness, which becomes more concaentrated when cooked in a sauce. For the same reason, I think Deborah may find this version more elegant than hers with pancetta, however tasty that one may be.

The absolute perfect pasta would be garganelli. It has the penne shape, but the delicacy and lightness of the egg dough from which it is made. The Pomodori who went to Bologna know all about garganelli.

How wonderful that Marcella is adding some cooking tips to her recipes!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 1, 2010 6:07 AM.

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