Fettuccini with Ham, Peas, Peppers and Goat Cheese

Just in case anyone has ham for Thanksgiving…..

Or tuck the recipe away for the leftover ham after Christmas.

I may have mentioned in the past that hams, as known in the U.S., really don’t exist here in France.

At any meat counter in any large supermarket, one can find 30 to 50 different dry-cured hams (Prosciutto-type) ranging in price from around $10.00 per pound to over $40.00 per pound. Next to the array of dry-cured hams are the ‘city’ hams, usually 8 – 10 large hams of the type served for Christmas or Easter dinner in the U.S. I don’t know for certain, but, since the ‘city’ hams are all the same shape and size, there may be some processing involved…. They range in price from $4.00 to $9.00 per pound.

All the hams are sold in slices, normally very thin slices. The thickest slice of ham I can get is about 3/4 inch…. Not exactly a roast.

The new kid on the block this year is a Smoked Pork Loin. It’s a small, raw ‘ham’ and a bit salty, but the closest thing I can get on a regular basis.

It makes a nice roast for the two of us with enough left over for something interesting.

In case your curious I get a proper ham (gammon) from ‘The English Store’ for Christmas.  It’s a raw, cured ham, it’s delicious, and it’s in my freezer waiting.

Fettuccini with Ham, Peas, Peppers and Goat Cheese

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 10oz (300gr) ham, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 – 14 dry-cured, Greek olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup peas, frozen 
  • 5oz (150gr)  creamy goat cheese,  Chavrie or Chevraux
  • 4oz (120gr) dried fettuccini

Fettuccini with Ham, Peas and Peppers


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Do not drain.
  • While pasta cooks:
  • Heat oil in large skillet.  Add shallots, pepper and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ham, garlic, paprika and sauté 5 minutes longer.
  • Add olives, peas, oregano, and heat through.
  • Add goat cheese by the spoonful, cover and keep warm until pasta is done.
  • When pasta is done, remove from water with a large fork or tongs and add to skillet – do not drain.
  • Toss the pasta with the sauce until goat cheese is melted and the pasta / sauce combined. Add more pasta water, 1 tbs at a time, if needed.

Print Recipe

We’ve been watching the cooking channels on TV again…..

The newest words to go on my list of words I never want to hear again are ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ and I especially don’t want to here them in the same sentence.

I have nothing against either concept…. It’s the overuse and abuse of the words that’s driving my crazy.

The other night the celebrity chef and guest were waxing poetic over the flavor of organic, all-natural honey.

The word ‘organic’ I only questioned a bit.

Obviously, to make a claim of organic, the bee-keeper has to know where the bees go and has to be able to determine that they don’t stray into non-organic territory. One must have very conscientious bees.

It was the all-natural claim that made me cringe.

Isn’t saying ‘natural honey’ much the same as saying ‘orange orange’ or ‘yellow lemon’ or ‘wet water’ or ‘cold snow’?

How could honey not be natural? It’s made by bees!

After a little research (okay, very little) I determined that the word they probably wanted to use was ‘pure’ or, maybe even ‘raw’ – both words implying that the honey had not undergone processing by humans.

But even human handling doesn’t make something not ‘natural’.

Why not use a more appropriate, more descriptive, more accurate word?

“Natural’ has been so used and misused that it really has lost all meaning.

About the only thing one can be confident of is that the ‘all natural’ product doesn’t contain fermium or nobelium or any of the other 20 synthetic elements – a synthetic element being something that does not occur in nature.

Not ‘natural’, in other words.

I know I’ll rest easier the next time I’m in the U.S. and have all-natural something or other, knowing there’s no Einstienium in it.

Of course, I won’t know what IS in it….

There’s (supposedly) truth in advertising…. Is truth in food labeling next?

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy your food and don’t worry about where it came from….
If you want nutrition information for the recipe, try this site: Calorie Count

5 thoughts on “Fettuccini with Ham, Peas, Peppers and Goat Cheese”

  1. As a former beekeeper I totally agree with you. To be organic, the beekeeper must KNOW that the bees didn’t gather nectar from flowers that were themselves not treated with something within 5 miles of the hive, AND the hives cannot have been treated with chemicals. (These are my well thought out rules).

    The US has for years fought the import of Chinese honey from hives treated with chloromicetin (sp?).

  2. My pet peeve is “artisanal,” used to describe everything from soup to soap. But, I’m thankful today for stuff made by hand, just tired of the descriptor. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, Katie and your Mari!

  3. Tanna, we’re lucky that we can still get so much locally – and that the French are very fussy LOL

    Kate. Right!

    Brassfrog, all the honey I’ve ever bought here has been from local bee keepers. Funny, I rarely ate it in the U.S but I love it now… Esp that I can buy it by flower…. You would be interested (concerned) to know that France is being invaded by an Asian hornet that is devastating the honey bee population. They eat the honey bees and are very nasty towards humans as well.

    Zoomie, I rather hate that one, too – and Happy T-Day to you, too!

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