so if you’re not from the south you may have never heard of this gift from the gods ingredient called country ham. hams are salt cured for a few months, then smoked, and then hung on racks to age. so that poor little piggy has been rode hard, put up wet, then smoked to death, and the end product is divine. it’s so salty that you are guaranteed to drink 2 quarts of water on your own by the end of the day. i tell myself it’s fine to eat because it’s like a cleansing process, me eat salty pig + me drinking lots of water = my skin is so tight from the salt and water i have an instant face lift.
my usual preparation is to “simmer” slices of ham in a shallow amount of water ( some people add coke ) then serve for breakfast on a biscuit, and cover the whole thing in gravy. so after 4 biscuits of overflowing ham i told my boyfriend he was cut off before he turned into violet from the willy wonka movie. bartering with my ” please stop eating this” game,so i promised” i’m going to use this for dinner” as my plea, and luckily it worked.so that left me with about 6 slices of cooked ham that i had to turn into something. now there was no way i was going to eat this again in a days time, my shoes wouldn’t fit if i did, but i knew i had a few days to come up with an idea for dinner…
so after a few days of hiding and re hiding my container in the fridge, this is the “recipe” i came up with…and i must say it was just what this country girl had been craving…
from me two you,
country ham carbonara
2 T. olive oil
1/4 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. cooked & chopped country ham
spaghetti pasta (* see note for amount)
1/4 C. grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
- *notes: (the size of a quarter is the amount of dry noodle style pasta you need for two people, another good measurement tool is the cap of a plastic water bottle. just hold the dry pasta together and place the cap on top to see if you have the right amount.)
- bring large pot of water to a boil and begin to cook pasta according to package directions. ( we will be using the pasta water later so don’t throw it out.)
- place 2 T. of olive oil in medium size frying pan. heat pan to medium and add in chopped onion. let onion cook for 3 minutes, or until they begin to soften then add in 1/2 C. country ham. continue to cook 3 more minutes then remove pan from heat.
- in a small bowl crack eggs. add 1/4 C. of parm cheese and whisk vigorously. give a generous sprinkle of black pepper and whisk again.
- return ham/onion pan to a medium heat. once ham is warm again add cook pasta to pan and coat each strand of pasta with pan drippings. once pasta is well coated stir in egg mixture and mix vigorously. while stirring you will notice the eggs combining into a creamy sauce, if the sauce becomes to thick add in a ladle full of pasta water to thin. ( i usually use 2 ladles of water. ) cook pasta 1-2 minutes and serve immediately. salt and pepper to taste.