It was one of those busy days when I just can't think of anything to cook and it was nearly dinner time. Rummaging through the fridge and the cupboards usually gives me some inspiration.
I always have pasta as it is very quick to cook and versatile. When there's nothing else to cook, there's always pasta. I can whip something up in no time without much thinking. I found some parma ham in the fridge and some tinned clams from the depths of the cupboard. This spurred an invention out of desperation. I gave the good old carbonara a twist by adding parma ham instead of bacon and injecting some subtle seafood taste with baby clams. I used cream cheese instead of cream because it was what I had. And of course, we always have eggs and cheese. It was good and was well appreciated.
225 gms. of spaghetti
100 gms. parma ham, keep 4 slices whole and chop the rest
1/2 c. cooked clam meat
2 large eggs plus two egg yolks
1/3 c. Pecorino Romano or any sharp cheese, grated
1/3 c. cream cheese
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
2 poached eggs for topping
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. While it is cooking, prepare the sauce ingredients.
Dry fry the four whole slices of parma ham on medium heat until crisp. Set aside.
In the same pan, add 1 tbsp. of butter and saute the chopped parma ham until crisp. Turn the heat off and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add one egg to the cream cheese and whisk until well blended then add the rest of the eggs and mix. Add the grated cheese. When the spaghetti is done, drain, but leave a bit of moisture in. Add to the parma ham in the pan, then add the clams and egg mixture. Give it a good stir. Add the parsley and a good grinding of black pepper. You don't need to add salt as the ham and cheese are both salty. Mix, then transfer to a serving dish or individual plates.
This would make two generous main meal portions. Top with the crisp parma ham slices, one poached per serving and extra cheese if wished. All you need is bread or fresh salad to go with it.
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