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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Orecchiette with Speck and Marjoram
Orecchiette with Speck and Marjoram
(Orecchiette con Speck e Maggiorana)
2 cups shelled fresh peas
1 lb slice of Speck ham (fat still attached)
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 in cubes
1 lb orecchiette pasta
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced marjoram
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a pot with a pasta insert, and add the peas; cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pasta insert and drain the peas; reserve the cooking water and keep it boiling.

Separate the fat from the meat in the Speck, and dice each separately.

In a saute pan, render the fat of the Speck over medium heat until translucent, about 2 minutes, then add the potato and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette pasta with salt until 'al dente' in the reserved boiling water.

Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

Add the orecchiette pasta to the potato in the pan, along with the diced meat of the Speck, all but 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the peas, marjoram, half of the parsley and the cracked black pepper.

Pour in enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to dilute the sauce if necessary.
Toss to combine, adjust the salt if needed, and spoon into 4 heated bowls.

Garnish with the remaining olive oil and parsley, and top with the Grana Padano cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
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