This delicious dish truly is two great tastes that taste great together. Familiar yet unique, you won't regret giving this one a whirl.
½ cup of diced ham
6 pieces of asparagus sliced into thin rounds
1 medium white onion diced
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1 lemon juiced or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of fresh basil or 2 teaspoons of dried basil
1 teaspoon of flour
1 cup of milk or cream
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
½ cup of Parmesan cheese
350 grams or ¾ of a pound of dried pasta of choice (I prefer a short noodle like penne or fusilli)
First, get a large pot of water on the stove turned up to high for the pasta. Add about three or four tablespoons of salt to the water - it should taste like the sea. Once the water is boiling, put the pasta in. Cooking times will vary, but takes anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes usually.
Now in a separate pot set to high, sauté onions and diced ham in two teaspoons of oil until a slight brown color is present on the onions. Now add garlic, asparagus and dried basil (if used). Sauté quickly for about 20 to 30 seconds. Add flour and stir until everything is coated and cooked with the flour evenly.
Next step is to add your creamy dairy. Whisk or stir the pot with one hand and with your other hand slowly pour in the milk or cream. Once all your cream is added, reduce heat to a medium and stir every minute or two to ensure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Bring to a boil - which may take up to 5 or 6 minutes. It should only be slightly thickened; adding the Parmesan cheese at the end will thicken the sauce.
Once it comes to a slight boil, add Parmesan cheese, half of lemon juice, Tabasco and black pepper, and give it a taste. It shouldn’t need any salt at all because of the balance of lemon juice and Parmesan cheese, along with the saltiness of the ham. You can add the rest of the lemon juice if desire. Now add cooked pasta & it is ready to serve!