These two recipes are of the Italian ilk, involving a toss-together pasta dish in one case and a Giada-inspired pizza dish in the other, and it might be fun to pair dinner with a game of bocce out back.
Spaghetti with Ham, Caramelized Onions, and Asiago
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked
3 tsp. olive oil
1 ½ onions, thinly sliced
½ tsp. salt
½ c. chicken broth
8 oz. diced ham
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. thyme
4 oz. crumbled asiago (you can sub parmesan or even manchego…if you use manchego, it would be cool to sub Serrano or Iberico ham)
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, adding broth when the pan becomes dry. Cook and stir until the onion is soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add ham, garlic, and thyme. Cook about 3 minutes. Toss with pasta and serve with cheese. Serves 4-6.
Pizzette with Goat Cheese and Ricotta
4 oz. soft goat cheese
1/3 c. ricotta cheese
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. finely-chopped basil
1 tsp. fine lemon zest
Pizza dough (I like to pick up a ball of it at Whole Foods…you can make your own, if
you’re into that)
12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved (If you can only find red, do that, but if you have a variety of colors, it’s a much more lush feast for the eyes)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Mix cheeses, 1 tbsp. olive oil, basil, and lemon zest together well. Add salt & pepper, if you think it needs some. Roll dough out into a couple of smallish, rough ovals. I actually didn’t even roll mine, I just pulled it into shape and patted it out. Giada would likely be horrified. Her original recipe calls for cutting the dough into 30 2 ¼” rounds---do that, if you have the time and inclination. It would be great for a party! Place the dough on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, season with salt & pepper, and bake until golden, 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly before spreading with cheese and topping with tomatoes. Serves 2-4.
Both are good served with a green salad, fresh fruit, and a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.