This is a dish I created, probably very similar to a number of authentically Italian recipes but not one I researched first – though as yet it has no name!  It’s unmistakably rich, tasty and creamy without being overpowering.  The secret is to reduce enough so the alcohol is cooked out of the wine, and the sauce coats the pasta without being flooded.


  • Mixed tagliatelle, either home made, fresh or very good quality dried
  • Smoked ham, finely diced – ideally home-baked smoked gammon
  • 1 onion or shallot, finely diced
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced (I use bottled peeled peppers)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed with salt & finely diced
  • 1-2 ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded & finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato passata
  • 1 glass of Italian white wine
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon green basil pesto
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh-milled sea salt & black pepper
  • Fresh grated parmesan, pecorino or grana padano cheese

Cook the pasta til al dente.  Leave in a little of the cooking water with a knob of butter.

While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a sauté pan or similar, then lightly cook the ham, onions and red pepper.  Add tomatoes and leave to sweat for a couple of minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Add a glass of white wine and allow to reduce by half.  Then stir in a teaspoon of pesto and a little passata, then season well with salt & pepper.  Finally, add sour cream and cheese, stir through & add drained pasta.  Mix thoroughly, then serve immediately with black pepper, more Italian cheese and a tasty side salad.

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