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Pasta dish (meatless) to go with Easter Ham?

That's my assignment. For 8-10. Mushroom? Spinach? Not too cheese-heavy, please. I can assemble at home, drive for an hour and cook on-site. There's a ton of recipes out there, and I'm having a hard time deciding... Thank you!

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      1. re: Sarah

        Of course it's hot! You cook the ravioli on site and heat the marinara or butter and sage. Pass Romano at the table. I would never serve ravioli cold.

    1. Ravioli. That was always our traditional Italian starter to Easter dinner. You could serve it with a marinara sauce, or burro e salvia (butter and sage), which requires no cooking. Nothing easier of more delicious. If you can make the ravioli yourself, mores the better.

      1. How about a nice pesto sauce over the pasta of your choice. I use pesto on penne pasta as well as angel hair. With ham I think I'd use angel hair.
        All you need to do is cook the pasta on site and toss the pesto with the hot pasta. I know stove time can be a bit tricky for holiday gatherings but the angel hair would cook up in no time.
        I like to make pesto with a combination of basil and Italian parsley.

        1. I think a risotto or faux-risotto (made with orzo pasta) would be delicious - maybe using some nice spring vegetables like asparagus tips, pea puree, etc.

          1 Reply
          1. re: biondanonima

            The pesto and the orzo ideas sound great. Oy, more choices...

          2. Isn't there some noodle and prune dish associated with Easter or the week before?

            1. Macaroni & Cheese!


              Oops. Missed the not too cheezy part the first time through.


              5 Replies
              1. re: DoobieWah

                Oh, but I absolutely cannot eat ham without mac & cheese. I don't know if it's tradition or addiction.

                1. re: jmcarthur8

                  I know....at our our Southern table there has to be mac and cheese with the ham.

                  1. re: LaLa

                    We usually have mac and cheese with ham. It goes together like a horse and carriage.

                    1. re: igorm

                      That was my first thought, too, but Sarah asked for something not too cheese-heavy.

                2. re: DoobieWah

                  My first thought as well. Mac 'n Cheese goes so well with ham.

                3. With ham, I like the idea of some kind of pasta with greens that will play off the fatty, haminess. Maybe a mix of sauteed swiss chard with garlic, onions and raisins or broccoli cooked with garlic and olive oil until soft and then broken up and mixed with spaghetti and a little romano.

                  1. Do a simple penne with baby spinach, toasted almonds & golden raisins. Can be served hot, room temp or cold. Make a bit of a sauce with 1/4 cup of pasta water. You can add parm if you like.

                    1. I have a recipe for baked penne with mushroom bolognese that would go great with ham. If interested, I'll be glad to post it.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Phoebe

                        I'd sure like the recipe please.

                        1. re: starkoch

                          I made this lastnight and forgot how delicious it was!!!! Here it is:

                          BAKED PENNE w/ MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE

                          1 medium onion, finely chopped

                          3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

                          3 Tblsp EVOO

                          3 lbs assorted mushrooms, chopped (I used shitake and portabellas, any kind will be fine)

                          salt and pepper

                          4 cups homemade (or canned) veggie stock (I used homemade chicken stock)

                          4 plum tomatoes, diced

                          1 cup heavy cream

                          1 Tblsp fresh thyme

                          1 1/2 lbs penne pasta, cooked slightly UNDER al dente

                          1 lb fontina, cut into small cubes

                          1 cup asiago cheese, grated (I've used parm or Locatelli before)

                          Preheat oven to 375*. Heat EVOO in a large saute pan. Add onions and cook til soft. Add garlic, and cook for 2 min. Add chopped mushrooms, season with s&p and cook until golden brown and all of their liquid has evaporated. Add stock and tomatoes, and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and thyme. Cook for 2 min. To assemble: Place 1 cup of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a large baking dish. Place half of the penne pasta over the sauce. Top with 2 cups of the sauce mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 of the fontina and 1/2 of the asiago over the sauce. Repeat once more, using the remaining penne, the cheeses, and top with the remaining sauce mixture. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!!

                          1. re: Phoebe

                            Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

                            1. re: Phoebe

                              It looks like it is deeeeelicious

                          2. I know it's not pasta, but my fave w/ ham is a classic gratin w/ a combo of white and sweet potatoes.

                                1. re: Snorkelvik

                                  Although I like gnocchi, I wouldn't recommend it because it'll gum up because of all the starch if it isn't eaten quickly. This would be good if you were serving it as a appetizer IMO.

                                  I think a simple tomato based penne with some grilled veggies and mozzarella chunks mized in for gooeyness. Bake it off so you get some nice crispy parts for texture. Hold's very well and tasty. Oh and keep a dish of red pepper flakes in a bowl on the side.

                                  The penne above with mushroom bolognese sounds good as well.

                              1. Sarah since you're in SF, I'm imagining you have access to fresh peas at the moment. I think peas are just fabulous w ham so what about some Orrecchiette (lambs ears seem to scream Easter!!) w fresh peas, chives and mushrooms w olive oil. I think this would make for a nice presentation as well.

                                1. The Northern Italian Pizzoccheri (buckwheat) noodles with savoy cabbage, leeks, and fontina cheese is a perfect foil for ham.

                                  1. Orecchiette with Leeks, Peas & Parmesan.


                                    I'd prefer it with parley instead of tarragon.

                                    1. I would make an alfredo with peas or a pasta primavera even. The recipe I've included here calls for pancetta which you can omit since you're serving up ham anyways. Pasta with peas and ham is a perfect combination. If it helps at all, think about the ingredient list for what goes into making a good pea soup. : - ) Look --> http://aromacucina.typepad.com/aroma_...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. Kugel! I've got recipes from very sweet (not recommended as a ham side) to totally savory. If you'd like to check it out, let me know. : )

                                        1. Sweet potato or butternut squash ravioli with browned butter and sage would also work.

                                          1. Mushroom Ravioli or Fusilli - topped with Wild Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and a Marsala Walnut Pesto

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Emme

                                              What goes into a Marsala Walnut pesto? Sounds good!

                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                Saute some onions and garlic in olive oil. Deglaze the pan with Marsala and reduce a tad. Let cool for a few minutes. Puree parsley (or basil or thyme), walnuts, the sauteed mixture, parmesan if desired, and enough olive oil to get it going. Add S & P as needed.

                                                1. re: Emme

                                                  Sounds simple and delicious, thanks Emme!

                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                    hope you try and like it! very easy and pairs oh so well with mushrooms. :)

                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                      I can imagine! I use it all the time to make chicken and veal Marsala with mushrooms. Thanks for the inspiration!

                                            2. i'd do a farfalle with a light garlic cream sauce and fresh spring veggies.

                                              1. Cavatelli and broccoli - easy, and you can make in advance and warm on site.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mickeygee

                                                  i like the cavatelli, but to me -- and this is a personal preference -- i don't see broccoli with ham...peas, carrots, asparagus...but not broc. also, warmed up broc is not very nice, smell-wise or taste wise -- unless it is left-over stir-fry. hahaha

                                                2. Does it have to be pasta? How about scalloped potatoes? Good quality yellow (yukon gold) sliced very thin, lots and lots of onions very thin, cheddar and/or gruyere, salt, pepper, hot milk, butter. Butter a shallow cassole, layer potatoes, onions and cheese, sprinkle with salt and pepper as you go, daub with butter now and then. Pour hot milk all over, bake until bubbly in the middle. (If you're in a hurry, put everything in a large pot and boil it until the potatoes are beginning to be tender, without stirring, then layer it in the cassole and put it in the oven to brown.) Really good, certainly as satisfying as pasta, goes beautifully with ham.

                                                  1. I almost forgot. Pasta is what you should make with the leftover ham! Make Marcella Hazan's ham and mushroom lasagna, which is absolutely amazing!

                                                    1. bowtie pasta with mint, feta, olive oil, lots of grated parm, lemon juice, lemon zest. peas or asparagus would go good in this too. hot, cold, or room temp. It's light, spring-y and yum.

                                                      1. Ended up making a spinach lasagna (ho-hum) but it went well with the rest of the menu and everyone loved it -- thanks for all your help and ideas -- they'll come in handy sooner than later!