Rachael's Pasta with Smoked Ham, Saffron and Cherry Tomato Sauce
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- ½ cup chicken stock
- Pinch saffron threads
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 red onion, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ⅓ pound chunk of speck (smoked prosciutto), or other smoky ham, thinly sliced by hand, then stack slices up and chop (¼ x ½ inch)
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- Handful basil, torn or thinly sliced
- 1 pound gnocchetti, or gnocchetti with saffron or small shell or small shell or orecchiette pasta
- Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
In a small pan or pot, warm stock and saffron, then remove from heat and let stand.
Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
In a deep skillet or saucepot over medium-high heat, warm EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook to soften 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic and ham and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine, saffron stock and tomatoes, then cover the pan and cook 20 minutes to soften tomatoes. Wilt in basil.
Salt the pasta water and cook pasta 1 to 2 minutes less than directions. Add about ½ mug of starchy pasta water to sauce, then drain pasta and toss with sauce and some grated cheese. Adjust seasoning and serve in shallow bowls.