Monday, 28 January 2013
I picked up a package of already cooked ham hock bits in the grocery shop the other day. I was really excited when I found them because this is the type of ingredient I just love to discover . . . something which is tasty, versatile and something I just know that I am going to enjoy using.
Best of all, it was separated into two smaller portions, so I knew I could use one and freeze the other for another time, and it was inexpensive . . . another bonus! Ham hocks are actually quite a wonderful ingredient. They give you a lot of tasty bang for your pound/buck. You can buy them either already cooked or ready to cook yourself, the end result being lots of tender meat that comes in handy for making casseroles and the like.
Delicious and economical meals like this tasty Ham Hock, Peas & Creamy Noodle dish which you can have on the table in approximately the time it takes you to boil some noodles! Seriously! Cheap, easy, quick and tasty! What more could you want in a weeknight supper dish!
I used Malfalda noodles the other night, because I love their crinkly curly edges, kind of like tiny bite sized lasagne noodles. They are perfect for this dish because they let all off that delicious sauce nestle into all those little crinkles . . .
I always have frozen peas in the freezer. I prefer the petit pois, because they're smaller, more tender and tastier/sweeter in my opinion . . . and I am a frozen pea snob. Peas are not my favourite vegetable really, and if I am going to eat them, I want to eat the tiny ones. I hate overgrown starchy peas. UGH!
The peas add a nice touch of colour and some extra texture, which goes very well with the ham hock bits and the sauce. I'll be honest that this wasn't Todd's favourite meal, but that is because he SAYS he hates pasta. He always eats it though . . . and sometimes even goes back for seconds, which he did when I served this . . . probably because he does love peas and ham.
The sauce is simple and easy to put together, and very tasty. Ham hock, tender and juicy. Frozen petit pois. Tender noodles . . . and a delicious sauce, all put together and on the table in literally minutes. Win/win/win/win/win!!! I do hope you'll give it a try!
*Ham Hock, Peas & Creamy Noodles*
Serves 4 to 6
In the time that it takes you to cook some pasta, you can have a delicious and filling supper on the table. Your family will love this.
2 TBS butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup of chicken stock
1 cup of single cream
16 ounces of cooked and coarsely shredded ham hock
1 mug full of frozen petit pois, thawed
1 TBS lemon juice
the finely grated zest of 1/2 un-waxed lemon
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 pound of your favourite pasta, uncooked (I like to use malfalda because it has lots of curly edges)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Tip in the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet. Cook, stirring frequently until they are beginning to turn golden brown. Tip in the broth and single cream. Bring to the boil then reduce to as quick simmer and cook until it begins to thicken up somewhat. Tip in the ham hock and peas. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Stir in the pasta. Stir to combine and heat through. Serve immediately.