Pasta, Josie’s Way

When I mentioned to Kelley I had Ham leftovers, she told me Josie, my late, great aunt, had a pasta recipe that used ham. Of course I had to have her text it to me; I’m so glad we were able to get Josie’s recipes before she passed away. She liked to enter her recipes in contests and that was how, with a chicken recipe she invented, she won a Weber grill that the four sisters would grill steaks on Saturday nights.

With Josie, making Eggplant Parmesan.

This recipe, originally titled, Spaghetti, Josie’s Way, was marked Prize Winning- National. I can only assume she won the prize for a Ronzoni contest, as the first ingredient was Ronzoni Spaghetti. This recipe is similar to all amatriciana, which uses salt pork, onions and white wine, but with the addition of ham and sliced mushrooms. For all amatriciana, a pasta with a hole inside called Bucatini is used, so this is what I used to make this dish. I also added peas, which wasn’t called for but added color and freshness to the dish.

In the Keys. Josie’s Pasta on a Sunday night by myself.
Whenever I see this, I buy it. It’s like spaghetti with a hole in the middle.

Pasta, Josie’s Way

Recipe by Josie SmithCourse: EntreeCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Moderate


Prep time






  • 1 lb. Ronzoni Spaghetti

  • 1/4 lb. salt pork, diced

  • 2 T. Oil

  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/4 lb. Ham, chopped

  • 2 T. parsley, chopped

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (pinot grigio works)

  • 1/4 lb. butter

  • Grated Parmesan Cheese


  • Cook the spaghetti as directed on package to al dente and drain. DO NOT RINSE.
  • In a large skillet render salt pork in oil for about 5 minutes, then add onions and cook until onions are slightly browned.
  • Add mushrooms, ham and parsley and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add wine and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Add butter to the cooked and drained spaghetti and toss in the skillet with the sauce.
  • Serve immediately and add parmesan cheese to taste.


  • Salt pork is traditional for this dish. If you can’t find it, you can substitute bacon (not smoked) or pancetta.

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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