Tiny Shells with Peas + Ham
- Super Fast
Why we love it:
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 10 ounces Shells Pasta (small size, a box is usually a pound, sometimes I cook it all)
- 1 Yellow Onion (small)
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (divided)
- 1⁄2 pound Ham (boneless, thick cut steak)
- 1 Lemon (zest and juice)
- 2 cups Frozen Peas
- 2 cups Parmesan Cheese (grated, divided)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly grated)
- Crusty Bread (Italian style, for serving, optional)
1. BRING A LARGE PASTA POT OF WATER TO A BOIL
Add a Tablespoon or more of salt so it tastes quite salty - like the ocean.
Cook the shells according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water before draining the shells. Drain about one minute before you would typically consider the pasta fully cooked (it will finish in the sauce).
3. HAM + PEAS
Meanwhile, dice the onion small. In a large sauté pan, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and add the onion. Dice the ham into cubes that are about the size of a pea or slightly larger. Add to pan and sauté with the onion until both have lightly golden edges. Zest in the lemon and add its juice as well.
Add the peas; it’s ok if they’re still frozen.
When the pasta is drained, add it to the pan. Add the ½ cup of pasta cooking water and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Add the rest of the butter and ½ of the parmesan cheese. Turn off heat and toss until butter is melted.
Serve immediately with crusty bread and garnish with the remaining parmesan and black pepper to taste.