Pasta with Ham, Pear and Goat Cheese

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in 2015 on a wonderful site called Natasha’s Palace.  It’s worth a visit there to see all of the great and unusual recipes she has.  The original recipe is here:

https://nataschaspalace.co/2015/05/28/pear-goat-cheese-and-cured-ham-pasta/

My daughters and I love this dish, especially if I can use some flavorful Honey Baked Ham leftovers.

Ham, Pear and Goat Cheese Pasta

¾ cup bowtie pasta
1 Tblsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 Tblsp. garlic, minced
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced
One cup chopped cooked ham
1 tsp. oregano
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 Tblsp. butter
4 oz. goat cheese

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente, drain

In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion slices, sprinkle with salt/pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent but not brown.

Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Add pear slices and ham and cook until heated.  Stir in oregano and salt/pepper to taste.  Stir in butter and drained pasta.  Add goat cheese in small lumps and stir gently until cheese has melted.

Serve hot.

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Grape and Almond Bites

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I adapted this recipe from one on writes4food and changed a few things to make it a dessert rather than an appetizer.  The combination of flavors is wonderful.  I used these as a light dessert, but I can also see two or three of them on a plate with some fancy sandwiches for a tea.  They are neither difficult nor time-consuming to make, but a little messy.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

GRAPE AND ALMOND BITES

  • 5.3 oz. pkg. goat cheese (cold from refrigerator)
  • 3 oz. cream cheese (cold from refrigerator)
  • 2 tsp. apple juice
  • 20 seedless grapes
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp. toasted sliced almonds, finely chopped.

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Use goat cheese and cream cheese directly from the refrigerator so it will be easier to handle.  In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, cream cheese and apple juice.  Take out a scoop of the cream mixture that is just slightly bigger than the grape.  In the palm of your hand, form the cheese into a ball and then press the grape into the cheese, pressing it into place to cover the grape completely.  Roll in chopped almonds.

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Place completed grape on a paper plate or waxed-paper-lined plate.

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Repeat with the remaining grapes and cheese mixture. Roll each cheese-covered grape in the toasted almonds to coat lightly. Place on plate, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set the cheese.
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Yield: 20 Grape and Almond bites (depending on size of grapes)

I used 5 of the bites as a light dessert at lunch – 4 servings 

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