Mary Anne's Linguine With Ham & Tomatoes

      Not sure what to do with the leftover Easter ham? Why not serve your family a simple pasta dish that goes together in a matter of minutes.

      1 (16-ounce) package linguine or fettuccine

      1/4 cup butter

      1 pound ham, cut into small cubes or thin strips

      2 cloves garlic, minced

      3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

      Salt and freshly ground pepper

      1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

      1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

      1 Tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley

      Dash red pepper flakes, optional

      1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

      Grated nutmeg, for garnishing

      • Prepare pasta according to the directions on package. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of water to thicken sauce if needed. Set aside.
      • Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the ham and garlic sauté until garlic is translucent and ham is slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Note: Be careful not to burn the garlic.
      • Pour in cream and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and parsley. Add tomatoes and simmer approximately two minutes. Add pasta and simmer on low heat while tossing pasta, about two minutes. Note: Add pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, to thicken sauce if needed, stirring after each addition.
      • Sprinkle with parmesan, grated nutmeg and red pepper flakes. Toss once more. Serve hot.
      Serves 4-6.Note: If you want a creamier sauce, add (what else) more cream.

      Note: For a change, you could add cooked frozen peas or broccoli.