Simple, delicious spaghetti recipe: with a ham, dill and cream saucePosted by Fiona Nevile in Rice and Pasta | 4 comments
Some of the best recipes are not written down. These recipes are so good that they allow for flexibility and still taste delicious.
I overheard this recipe at a party.
“We were walking in the mountains and my friend gathered some wild dill.”
My ears clicked into overdrive.
“Back home, she cooked some spaghetti. Chopped up the dill and a little ham. Added these and some cream to the spaghetti. Heaven.”
This recipe saved my blushes many years ago. I’d invited Danny to stay at the cottage for the first time. I’d invited some old friends to meet him. I imagined a relaxed evening – good food, conversation and wine.
This was back in my computer animation days. I’d been working in Kent. A job that should have taken a couple of days had atrophied into five and I arrived home exhausted with just an hour or so to spare before Danny arrived.
In fact he walked up the drive as I was easing a wheelbarrow through the front door to borrow some logs from a neighbour. A log fire can be a soothing distraction.
I’d had a poke about in the fridge and found a few bits of salad. I always had plenty of wine. There wasn’t time to drive into Newmarket and the big shops. So I decided to test out the dill and ham spaghetti dish. We drove to a nearby village shop and brought ham and cream. Dill grows wild at the cottage.
With no starter or pud I was taking a bit of a risk that evening. But everyone loved the pasta.
“Who needs a starter with a dish this good?”
I think that the well stocked drinks tray helped a bit too.
Since then I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit. I prefer pasta simmered in stock – vegetable or chicken stock cubes work fine. Stirring in parmesan also adds a little depth to the dish. We usually serve this with garlic bread and a summery salad of thinly sliced courgettes.
N.B. Some people call wild dill wild fennel.
Simple, delicious spaghetti with a ham, dill and cream sauce (for 2 hungry people)
225g of dried spaghetti
1 large handful of fresh dill (remove the thicker stalks and chop the fine leaves roughly to release more flavour)
2 slices of ham ideally (it works very well with just 1 slice if it’s thick)
100ml-150ml of double cream
Freshly ground white pepper
4 tbsp of freshly grated parmesan
2 chicken stock cubes
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the stock cubes and spaghetti. Bring back to the boil and simmer rapidly until the spaghetti is cooked to your taste.
Meanwhile chop the dill and ham.
When the spaghetti is ready, drain. Add the dill, ham, 2 tbsp of grated parmesan and cream. Sir well and season to taste. Put the lid on the pan for a minute or so for the ham to warm through.
Serve on warm plates with a good twist of white pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan.
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