Cook a box of Orecchiette pasta until al dente – just a bit underdone. It will cook more when added to the sauce. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Spread olive oil evenly in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, minced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add diced ham to the pan and cook until browned all over. The ham will literally start to “pop” and jump up out of the pan when it’s cooked enough!
Add tomato sauce to the skillet. Stir to evenly distribute.
Pour in chicken stock and stir to combine. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until thick.
Turn heat to medium-low. Carefully add half & half to the pan. Do this gradually and while stirring so it does not curdle.
Stir for about 1 minute, then simmer for 2 minutes. When bubbling, slowly add Parmesan cheese while stirring. Break up any chunks of Parmesan and mix.
Sprinkle in salt & pepper to taste and stir to incorporate.
Add cooked pasta slowly and mix. Carefully break up pasta with a spatula as you’re mixing it in.
Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish, serve, and enjoy!
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