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Pasta with Peas and Parma Ham

ingredients

10 oz (300 g) peas, fresh or frozen
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 thin slices Parma ham, finely chopped
5 basil leaves, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
14 fl oz (400 ml) beef stock
8 oz (250 g) medium-sized short pasta
2 oz (50 g) grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black peppercorns

method

1. Set a large pan of salted water to come to the boil.

2. While it is heating chop the onion finely with the garlic, Parma ham and basil. Fry these together very gently in the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or flameproof casserole dish for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes, still over a low heat. Pour in the stock, add a pinch of salt, cover as soon as the liquid has come to the boil and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring at intervals, by which time the peas will be cooked and very tender.

4. While the peas are cooking, add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook until it is only just tender; drain and add to the peas together with some of its cooking water. The finished dish should be very moist. Add a little more salt if necessary, and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

5. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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