By Merle Ellis
This recipe was inspired by a trip to the Emilian-Romagna area in Italy where Merle studied with Marcella Hazan. In this dish, country ham replaces the more expensive, imported Prosciutto.
1/4 Pound Diced Bacon
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Butter
2 Clovers Minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
2 Cups Thin Julienne Strips of Ham
1 8 Ounce Package Vermicelli, Cooked
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Sliced Ripe Black Olives
Brown the bacon in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it is cooked, but not crisp. Pour off the fat and set the bacon aside. To the same pan add the oil, butter, garlic, onion, and ham. Sauté lightly over medium heat. Cook the pasta in boiling water, and drain. Add the cooked vermicelli, bacon, cheese, half of the parsley (save the other half for garnish), salt, and peppers; stir to mix well. Turn the heat to low. Beat the eggs and pour over the pasta mixture. Toss quickly to coat the pasta evenly. Add the olives and toss again to mix them in. Transfer to a warm serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.