Creamy mushroom pasta… and ham hock. Need I say more?
I think during this weight loss process I have built a slight mushroom obsession. And how to blame me?
Mushrooms are extremely filling, a rich, low-calorie source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants, as well as being a low-carb vegetable.
I’ll tell you more: if cooked the right way you won’t even realize there are no ‘traditional’ proteins in the recipe.
Although I am trying my best to eat healthy and clean, I am human and have learned moderation. It took time, but I learned this term and try to use it and remind myself of the existence of it – moderation – as often as I can.
With the length of time I have spent dieting and looking after myself you’d think it has become my second nature. Not at all. I am greedy by nature.
So, with moderation in mind and greed in veins, this recipe needs ham.
Ham, and pork, are not unhealthy. No food is unhealthy when consumed in… repeat it with me… moderation!
Yes, starts to be annoying, doesn’t it? Yet it is the key to success.
Well, that and being constant. Which is nothing more than knowing and believing you can do it and therefore getting back to it after every slip.
This mushroom pasta recipe is easy to follow, quick, and low in calories.
~~ For another 30-Minute Pasta Recipe check out this Broccoli Pasta with Garlic and Chili… it’s divine and you only need one pot!
Your mushrooms will be happy in the fridge one moment and cooked with ham and spaghetti half an hour later.
This is a crowd-pleaser and deceptive. The taste is great, flavor not missing one bit… yet, low in calories.
How to cook ham and creamy mushroom pasta?
So easy, yet so tasty, it should be illegal!
Chop the mushrooms and sauté them in a pan, then cover them with a lid and allow them to cook on low flame; once the mushrooms are cooked, add the chopped ham, black pepper and parsley and mix well. Do not allow the mushroom water to evaporate, as it will help make this dish even tastier and creamier.
In a small pot, warm up the milk in the microwave and mix it with the light cream cheese; mix these two together until a smooth cream is achieved.
Add this cream and the cooked pasta (in my case spaghetti) to the ham and mushroom base, then sauté all together and serve!
~~ Love tasty pasta dishes that are low in calories and quick to make? Tuna Pasta with Chili and Garlic
How to cook spaghetti?
How to cook spaghetti in a pot that is too small without breaking them? Another easy trick coming your way!
Fill up a pot with water and bring to the boil; once the water is boiling, add the spaghetti and allow the parts that do not fit to sit on the sides of the pan. In about thirty seconds, the submerged part of the pasta will start to soften and you can start patting the dry extremities in.
After a further thirty seconds, with the help of a mixing spoon (I use a wooden one) you will be able to mix the whole spaghetti in the water without breaking them.
~~ Want to showcase your spaghetti cooking expertise? Check out this Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese!
You will love how the mushrooms and ham are held together with the use of light cream cheese, and the parsley will give that refined taste to one of my favorite healthy mushroom recipes.
~~ Love mushrooms? Vegan Creamy Mushroom Soup!
How to make spaghetti with mushrooms? Which mushrooms to choose from? The ones you like! I tend to use button, chestnut, or Portobello mushrooms for this recipe, as they have a slight bite to them. They are almost complementary to the ham and spaghetti.
Which cream cheese to use? I always buy Philadelphia Lightest however I’m sure other brands do similar options.
Few ingredients, little time, and voila’ (very international) … delish on a plate!
~~If you like ham and mushroom, I’m sure you’ll love mushroom s and chicken together as well in this glorious Easy Chicken and Mushroom Hotpot!
- 120 g Dry Spaghetti
- 10 Sprays Cooking Spray
- 250 g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 100 g Ham Hock (or sliced ham)
- 50 g Extra Light Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia Lightest)
- 50 ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
- ¼ tsp Dry Parsley
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Put a large pan of water on a high flame to warm up.
- Slice the mushrooms as preferred and set aside; I like to cut mine in halves or quarters.
- Chop the Ham Hock and set aside as well; I like to chop mine in cubes about half a centimeter in size, so to ensure there is at least a piece in each bite.
- Warm-up a frying pan with the 10 sprays of cooking spray in it. Once warm, add the chopped mushrooms and mix well on medium heat. After 2-3 minutes, put a lid on the pan and reduce the flame to low.
- As the mushrooms cook, they will release some water, which will add flavor to the dish. This process will take between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces of mushroom and how low the flame is.
- Meanwhile, once the water boils, add some salt and the spaghetti to it, mix well and allow to cook as per packaging description or your preference.
- In the meantime, remove the lid from the mushrooms and add the ham hock, parsley, black pepper, and salt to taste and mix well, always keeping the frying pan on low heat. After 2 minutes, remove from the heat.
- Warm up the milk for 30 seconds in the microwave and mix the cream cheese in it; the cream cheese will not completely melt in the milk, but not to worry – it will once it is mixed with the mushrooms and ham.
- Once cooked and ready, drain the pasta, without over draining it, and add it to the mushroom and ham mixture together with the milk and cream cheese mixture.
- Mix well, return to the low flame for 30 seconds if deemed necessary, then divide into two plates and serve.
The pasta does not need to be spaghetti, that is just my shape of choice for this recipe as I love spaghetti. Many people prefer short pasta, such as penne, as it is more child and lunch-box friendly; should you decide to use a different shape of pasta and are calorie counting, use the same amount. Should you wish to bulk up this meal a bit more, you can increase the quantity of mushrooms; to add variation and extra taste, a good way of doing so is by mixing different types of mushrooms, such as button, chestnut, and portobello. What is key in this case, is to prepare them all in the same size, so that they mix well and are spread equally through the recipe. Should you not like ham hock or, should a vegetarian version be preferred, then this can be skipped or replaced with another ingredient. A good way of doing so is by swapping it out with little cubes of reduced-fat feta cheese or ricotta cheese, which will melt and blend well. Alternatively, serve with a sprinkle of delicious parmesan cheese. Dry parsley is a staple in my kitchen, as it is hard to go through a whole batch of fresh, but should you have it instead, then go for it. Parsley is one of those herbs that can be liked or disliked to an extreme – there’s no half way – so if you do not like it, skip it. This can be then swapped for your herb (or a mix of herbs) of choice or avoided altogether. If you do not like herbs, then try adding a little fresh garlic when cooking the mushrooms… delicious!! Another tasty swap is a cream cheese that is sold with herbs ready mixed in it – worth giving it a try! In that case, you may skip adding the dry/fresh parsley.