Recipe Details

Asparagus Pesto with Gnocchi and Ham

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest


2 cups ham, cubed
12 ounces asparagus, *
3/4 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup olive oil, OR cooking oil
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoons garlic, minced (6 cloves)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 16-oz package potato gnocchi, OR 8 ounces rotini (about 4 cups)

Cooking Directions

Snap off and discard woody portions of asparagus. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook asparagus in a small amount of boiling water about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.
For pesto, in a food processor or blender, combine asparagus, basil, cheese, walnuts, olive oil, water, garlic and pepper. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, scraping sides occasionally. Divide pesto into thirds. Transfer 2
portions to freezer containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Set aside remaining portion.
Prepare gnocchi or rotini according to package directions.
Meanwhile, coat a skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook ham cubes in skillet until heated through. Stir remaining portion of the pesto into ham cubes; heat through. Drain gnocchi and toss with pesto-ham mixture.

Serves 4.

*Note: If desired, substitute 12 ounces coarsely chopped broccoli for the asparagus. Cook broccoli in a small amount of boiling water about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.

Serving Suggestions

Nutrition Information

Calories: 355 calories
Protein: 23 grams
Fat: 19 grams
Sodium: 1070 milligrams
Cholesterol: 63 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 22 grams
Fiber: 2 grams

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About the Cut: Ham

Cured ham is leg meat that has been dry- or wet-cured. Hams are labeled according to the amount of water added to the ham during the curing process. Because the leg muscle is a well-exercised part of the hog, ham is surprisingly low in fat.

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Buying, Handling & Storage Tips

The National Pork Board does not encourage freezing cooked ham, since it affects the quality and mouth-feel of the meat However, leftover ham for use in soups or casseroles can be cut up into slices or cubed and stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

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Butcher's Tips

All varieties of cured ham are either boneless or bone-in. Bone-in hams are traditionally considered more attractive and boneless are considered easier to serve because of simplified carving. Bone-in hams are available in a variety of shapes - whole or as a shank or butt half. Boneless hams also are available in a variety of sizes.

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