I had to make this before I could type the recipe, which I did last night. Linda, I'll post more grilling recipes when I start grilling again.
Fusilli with Ham, Mushrooms and a creamy "Alfredo" type Sauce
The ingredients one uses are important to this recipe so I will suggest certain items. At the end of this, I will highlight the ingredients that make a basic, creamy Alfredo sauce so that it can adapted to suit personal tastes.
One of the major ingredients is the Parmesan cheese. It is highly recommended that an imported Italian, preferably Reggiano be used. A Grana Padano Parmesan will substitute well. If one is unable to obtain Italian Parmesan, a good domestic brand will suffice, not pre-grated! I also always use an Italian pasta but that is personal taste. If one prefers whole wheat (which is also available in Italian) or is unable to obtain imported pasta, that is fine too. This recipe lends itself well to any "corkscrew" shaped pasta, as well as being chunky or refined. I prefer a chunky version and use cubed ham and quartered mushrooms, whereas a julienned ham and sliced mushrooms would also work.
1/2 pound of butter
1 small yellow onion or 2 Shallots, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
1 pound ham, cubed
2 cups Whipping Cream (or heavy cream)
4 cups freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 pound Fuscilli
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1. In a large skillet, place 1/4 pound (1 stick) of butter, add onions and soften, add Mushrooms. (Be sure to coat the mushrooms with the butter and sweat them.) Once the mushrooms are barely browned, add the cubes of ham.
2. Fill a large pasta pot and put on to boil.
3. Warm the ham and toss with mushrooms and butter. Allow the ham to slightly brown.
4. Add 1 cup of the whipping cream to the ham, mushrooms and onions. Simmer very gently, allowing the sauce to thicken. Add pepper to taste. Add pasta to the boiling pasta pot. Remove sauce from heat and let stand, stirring occasionally to thicken.
5. Cook pasta, approx. 8 to 12 minutes (check package for directions, until al dente).
6. Drain pasta in a colander. (I use the drained hot pasta pot for this next part)
7. Melt remaining butter in hot pot on low to med heat. Add remaining cream. Do not boil. Once blended and thickened, return pasta to pot. Turn heat off. Toss the pasta in the mixture, adding 1 cup of parmesan cheese and sauce from skillet. Continue to add cheese and sauce and toss until all the cheese and sauce have been blended and coat the pasta well.
*The alfredo sauce is the basic butter, cream and some parmesan*
One can take several elements of that recipe and fine tune it to suit their tastes. I also do not add any salt to this recipe as I find ham is quite salty. It is a personal preference. *Tip...if you find the sauce is too dry when you start tossing in all the sauce and cheese, one can always add a bit more cream, but that will require very low heat to thicken. Play with it as everyone's stoves cook differently.
I hope my recipe is coherent! It's a rib-stickler!