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Christmas Pasta

 The one thing that I don’t love about Christmas, is all the leftover food I seem to have. I don’t know why, but I always get more food than I actually need and then need to frantically spend the next couple of days devouring it. This year was no exception and after buying a half leg of ham, I still had roughly three quarters of that left when the Christmas feasting was done. Plus a bunch of fresh herbs and vegetables. So I am doing my best to get rid of that ham, without eating in all the usual boring ways – on a sandwich for example. Last night I tossed a whole bunch of leftovers into a pot and came up with the best pasta dish I think I have ever eaten (I’m setting expectations high, I know). So if you are trying to get rid of a Christmas ham just like me, give this a try – I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Christmas Pasta – Serves two, about 20 minutes cooking and prep time.


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 anchovy fillets (optional – but they dissolve so you won’t even notice them)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from stalks
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, stalks removed and chopped finely
  • roughly 250g of Christmas ham, diced (including the glazed fatty bit)
  • juice of one lemon
  • roughly ½ cup of thickened cream
  • pasta of your choice
  • grated parmesan cheese to serve

In a large saucepan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add garlic and cook while stirring for about 2 minutes, then add anchovies. These will cook down and dissolve, so continue cooking until they have disappeared, stirring all the while. Once the anchovies have dissolved, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Then add the thyme and rosemary, cooking for a further 5 minutes.

Add the diced ham and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and until the ham is heated through. Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling water, cook pasta to al dente according to packet instructions. 

Add the lemon juice to the ham mixture and stir through, then add cooked and drained pasta. Stir gently, making sure that the pasta is completely coated by the pan liquids. Add the cream, stirring thoroughly, then allow to simmer for around 5 minutes or until the cream is heated through and thickened slightly. Serve with grated parmesan.






  1. OK you’ve got my interest, my fridge runethover with cooked meats (ham included) I have everything in my cupboard except rosemary & thyme I feel a song coming on whoop sorry (I may improvise on the herbs) Thank you that what we will have for tea tomorrow! I have the grandkids coming for the evening and they love pasta. Now where’s my babysitters fancy dress costume….. Happy New Year


    • I hope you like it! I also made a risotto in my rice cooker using a similar set of ingredients. It was pretty tasty as well.
      The best thing about this recipe is that you can take some creative license with the herbs and use whatever you have laying around. It’ll still taste great!


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