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Pasta and ham supper

Parma ham, delicious raw cured ham from Italy, tends to be rather expensive, so you could use thinly sliced cooked ham instead for a more economical dish.
If you have egg whites left over from a recipe, freeze them in a rigid container, for up to 6 months. Be sure to mark the container with the number of egg whites frozen. Defrost at room temperature and they will then whisk up just as well as fresh egg whites.

ingredients

serves 4
225 g (8 oz) pasta shells
salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 x 300 g (10 oz) cans condensed chicken soup
175 g (6 oz) Parma ham, fat removed and cut into thin strips
225 g (8 oz) frozen peas, defrosted
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons snipped chives or chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper

method

1. Heat the oven to 110C/225F/Gas 1/4. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the vegetable oil and cook the pasta for about 12 minutes, or until it is just soft. Drain well and turn into a warmed serving dish. Cover and keep warm in the oven.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the chicken soup in a saucepan. Add the ham strips and the peas. Heat until the soup is just bubbling.

3. Beat the egg yolks into the contents of the pan and warm through very gently without boiling. Stir in half the chives and season to taste with black pepper. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining chives. Serve at once.

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