© Quentin Bacon
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Serves : 10

The Virginia in the title refers to the Virginia ham Patrick O'Connell uses in the recipe. You could substitute any country ham or 1/2 pound of smoked ham.  Fast Weekday Pastas

How to Make It

Step 1    

Cook the fettuccine in a large stockpot of boiling salted water until al dente.

Step 2    

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in the country ham, stirring to separate the strips; add the nutmeg.

Step 3    

In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the Swiss chard leaves by the handful and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 4    

Drain the fettuccine and return it to the pot. Add the ham, cream, Swiss chard and Parmesan cheese and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large warmed bowl. Sprinkle with the chives and serve at once.

Suggested Pairing

A mostly dry, floral and spicy wine, such as Gewürztraminer, would provide the contrast this rich dish needs.

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