HERE IS DINNER #3 OF OUR 12 DINNERS OF CHRISTMAS! INTRODUCING A RECIPE STRAIGHT FROM THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF TUSCANY

AKA the Olive Garden!!! I’m doing this one for myself because I’ve always wanted to cook a Pasta Florentine but never have because my hubby doesn’t like peas, so he’ll just have to pick them out!

A little bit of info from the Institute itself:

“We believe that a true passion for Italian cooking isn’t just created in the kitchen and classroom—it’s inspired by experiencing the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of Italy firsthand. That’s why we created Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute of Tuscany. Here, in a quaint 11th century Tuscan village, more than 1,200 of our chefs and managers have been inspired by the art of authentic Italian cuisine so that they can share their knowledge and passion with you.”

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
12 oz sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 oz ham (Black Forest if possible), julienned
1/4 cup chopped parsley
8 oz pasta (your favorite shape), cooked according to package directions
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped

Procedures

HEAT extra virgin olive oil and garlic in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Once garlic starts to sizzle, add mushrooms. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Add heavy cream and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Allow to slightly reduce, for about 10 minutes. Add ham, peas and parsley and cook 4 minutes.

RETURN cooked, drained pasta to pot and add sauce. Cook until sauce simmers and coats the pasta.

REMOVE pot from heat and stir in grated Parmesan. Toss gently to combine.

TRANSFER to large serving platter. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Chef’s Tip: Use a small amount of salt. The parmesan cheese naturally contains salt.