I admit to a serious pasta addiction -- I find nothing as satisfying, even when I am in the dumps, than a big bowl of pasta.
It is the cure-all meal for me. I have no great bias on the type of pasta, and there are dozens from which to choose, but I do tend to like the thicker, chewer kinds.
Pappardelle, linguini, fettuccini and rigatoni are at the top of the list, and I prefer a simple preparation; good olive oil, and a little 2- or 3-year-old Parmigiano-Reggiano is wonderful, simple, and delicious.
I have a special recipe for rigatoni that I borrowed from an Italian restaurant in Heidelberg, Germany , called POPS, and I have been making it for more than 30 years. It is a simple combination of rigatoni, ham, fresh peas and a light cream or cheese sauce.
Give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think.
RIGATONI AND HAM WITH PEAS
1 package rigatoni pasta
1 cup cubed ham
1 cup cooked green peas
2-4 cloves chopped garlic
2/3 cup heavy cream
Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain but do not rinse. Sauté the ham in a little oil until well-browned, add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more, add the cream and simmer until just as thick as you like it, add the peas, simmer 2-3 minutes more. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately.