Let's take it back a childhood favorite of mine… Schinkennudeln! It's a ham and cheese pasta and it is truly what my childhood tastes like.
I can’t even begin to describe the memories that Schinkennudeln brings back for me. It was our favorite dinner and my mom is the best at making it. Mine comes out equally as delish but there’s something really special about my mom or omi (grandma) making it for me (also they do the dishes which is an added bonus!). In its simplest form this is a ham and cheese pasta. It’s easy, inexpensive and perfect for a crowd.
All you need are a few things to get the ball rolling. Pasta - duh. I like to use orecchiette because they are like little ears of pasta with an indent that’s perfect for catching bites of ham and cheese so each bite is loaded with plenty of flavor. Ham - naturally. It’s the star of the dish! Frozen Peas - because mom always wanted us to have a few veggies. And some CHEESE, because why not! Trust me when I tell you that you’ve gotta try it!! I mean look at these 2 little girls - tell me they don't look pumped post-Schinkennudeln!
Schinkennudeln (Ham & Cheese Pasta)
- 1 ½ cups diced ham
- 1 pound orecchiette pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas
- ½ cup pasta cooking water
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup grated Colby jack cheese
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet on medium heat until melted. Add the shallot and sauté for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the cubed ham and the frozen peas and toss to combine.
- Add in the reserved pasta cooking water and then the pasta and 2 varieties of cheese. Season with salt and pepper and lemon zest. Toss to combine and serve as needed.