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Family Fun
Family Fun

Take a culinary trip to Italy with this dish

Beans and ham, they go together like country cousins. Pork and beans, as in bacon-spiked baked beans. Navy bean soup with nuggets of ham. And one of my favorites from my grandmother's kitchen: steamed green beans, fresh-picked from her farm's garden, studded with morsels of salty ham.

This dish plays with that dynamic duo, subbing pieces of crackly prosciutto — made so by rendering in a skillet — to pair with the plump green beans. Toasted pine nuts play their flavor off both green beans and the cured ham. Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil bring it all together.

A crisp white wine would be a refreshing companion. Try an Italian white, such as Soave or pinot bianco, or an unoaked California sauvignon blanc.

Tips: Sub the prosciutto with diced baked ham, crisp bacon or slivers of country ham.

Ham and beans pasta

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
8 ounces green beans, ends trimmed
1 pound penne pasta
4 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the green beans. Cook until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon; keep warm. Add penne to the boiling water; cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, cook prosciutto slices in a large dry skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes; break into rough pieces.

3. Toss the drained pasta in a large bowl with the green beans, pine nuts and Parmesan; drizzle with olive oil. Divide pasta among six plates; top with prosciutto pieces.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: 458 calories, 32% of calories from fat, 16 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 61 g carbohydrates, 17 g protein, 278 mg sodium, 5 g fiber.

jxgray@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, CT Now
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