Stuck for leftover ideas? This recipe will use up the rest of your Christmas ham
For those of you still with mountains of leftovers to work through, James Kavanagh and William Murray's penne pasta made with wild garlic pesto, cabbage, and pickled walnut will help you make good use of your Christmas ham.
This is another variation – an elevation, we go so far as to say! – of bacon and cabbage. Leftover ham is one of the most useful things you can have in your fridge. It’s unbeatable here paired with its traditional companion – cabbage – and a garlicky pesto. Wild garlic pops up everywhere in early spring; make a big batch of this pesto when it’s in season and you’ll use it year-round.
Penne Pasta with ham, cabbage, wild garlic pesto and pickled walnut
- 200g penne pasta
- 1 tbsp butter
- olive oil
- 1 savoy cabbage, shredded
- 100g cooked ham, or speck, prosciutto or pancetta
- 1 pickled walnut, sliced
- grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
For the pesto
- 75g wild garlic, stalks removed
- 30g fresh flat-leaf parsley, stalks removed
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 80ml rapeseed oil, plus extra to seal the jar
- 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 30g walnuts
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Put the ingredients for the pesto into a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. Decant into a sterilised jar and pour a little rapeseed oil over the top to seal. Refrigerate until needed (it will keep this way for two weeks).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the penne and cook according to the packet instructions.
- Meanwhile, put the butter and a drop of olive oil into a large, heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat and add the shredded cabbage. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook the cabbage for three to four minutes until wilted* then tear in the ham and cook for a further two minutes. Add a little of the pasta water if it looks dry.
- Add 2 tbsp of the wild garlic pesto and stir to combine, then cook for a further two to three minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander and add to the pan, stirring the sauce into the pasta until it is all well coated. Serve with a few slices of pickled walnut on top, and offer some extra grated Parmesan.
*We would usually cook the cabbage so that it’s softer and less crisp than the cabbage in the photograph. You can cook it to taste.
Extracted from The Currabinny Cookbook by James Kavanagh and William Murray (Penguin Ireland).