Rachael's Pasta with Smoked Ham, Saffron and Cherry Tomato Sauce
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Rachael's Pasta with Smoked Ham, Saffron and Cherry Tomato Sauce

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit RachaelRayShow.com.

A braised roast and vegetables makes for the ultimate cold weather comfort food. Rach recommends serving this with charred bread or roast potatoes wedges with olive oil, rosemary, crushed garlic and salt.


  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • A pinch of saffron threads

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, EVOO

  • 1 red onion, chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1/3 pound chunk of speck (smoked prosciutto), or other smoky ham, thinly sliced by hand, then stack slices up and chop (1/4 x 1/2 inch)

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

  • A handful of basil, torn or thinly sliced

  • 1 pound gnocchetti, or gnocchetti with saffron or small shell or orecchiette pasta

  • Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


In a small pan or pot, warm stock and saffron, then remove from heat and let stand.

Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

In a deep skillet or saucepot over medium-high heat, warm EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook to soften 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic and ham and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine, saffron stock and tomatoes, then cover the pan and cook 20 minutes to soften tomatoes. Wilt in basil.

Salt the pasta water and cook pasta 1 to 2 minutes less than directions. Add about ½ mug of starchy pasta water to sauce, then drain pasta and toss with sauce and some grated cheese. Adjust seasoning and serve in shallow bowls.

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