An “Expired” Pasta a la Marketman…


We discovered a few cans of De Cecco tomatoes that had just passed their expiry date. And to my annoyance a small whole leg of prosciutto was likewise discovered hidden in the walk-in freezer with the same problem. Honestly, prosciutto doesn’t go bad in a freezer, but we MUST to remove these items from inventory and happily they were now “mine” to play with… :) So off to the kitchens I go, intent on cooking a pasta lunch for the office crew with the tomatoes and prosciutto. First, the prosciutto was sliced incredibly thin with an electric slicer. It was still brilliant. Delicious, in fact. So we had some just like that, au naturel, with toasted Italian bread on the side. But we had quite a bit more ham to work with, so I decided to try a creamy tomato pasta topped with lots of sliced prosciutto.


Tomatoes and prosciutto are amongst my most favorite ingredients, ever. The prosciutto will probably cause colon cancer if I eat it daily (or anything with nitrates like ham, sausages, etc.) but at least the tomatoes will help stave off prostate cancer if the medical journals are to be believed… Into a pan, I added some olive oil, garlic and onions then some chopped canned tomatoes and let that cook down a bit. Season with salt and pepper. When you are almost ready to assemble the pasta, add a touch of cream and lots of grated parmesan and taste for seasoning. Add the noodles that are cooked to al dente, plate up and sprinkle with more cheese then top with more prosciutto than you think is necessary. Yum. The ingredients may have been just “expired”, but the pasta was pretty inspired. Delicious, in fact. Now to figure out how to use the rest of the leg of ham. I figure I have another month or two to work my way through it. :)

P.S. I would never suggest this for a restaurant, but in our home pantry, I sometimes have a canned or bottled item or two that has passed its expiry date (unopened) and I use it up to 2 or 3 months after the expiry date and it has always been fine…

P.P.S. In terms of “fishpan-slam-worthy” discussions, if I won the U.S. Lotto on a good month, say $200 million or so, I would immediately order this Berkel prosciutto slicer in red for my mythical future home kitchen with all the nearly-single-use doodads along with workhorse staples… It costs more than a second-hand car, so it’s ridiculous, but one can always daydream for free, right? :)


10 Responses

  1. My dream slicer is not quite as mechanical as yours and somewhat more demanding of concentration and finely honed skill: httpss://

  2. truly glad to be reading your posts again, marketman. the internet just isn’t the same without you. :)

  3. MM, what’s with the rosemary bunch in his chest pocket!!! Hahaha

    It will be an interesting cancer stat for the italians who are huge consumers of salumeria…

  4. I think there’s no need to worry about the expired canned goods. You can consume them months after the expiry date as long as they were stored well in a cool and dry place and don’t have dents and rust. I’ve even read suggestions that you can use them up to 4 years after expiry.
    I’m dying to see what your walk in freezer looks like now that you’ve mentioned it. :)

  5. Cecco products go on sale at the Costplus world market and I would buy more than I need. I have used canned Cecco products past its best before date and nothing happened. I did read somewhere that the expiry date for some products are just a guide for shop owners in the maintenance of their inventory.

    Old beans and pasta are a different story, though.


  6. MM, you are right. Prosciutto can stay forever in the freezer. If raw meat e.g. steak, duck etc do not go bad deep frozen, what more salt cured meat?

  7. I’ve once discovered and ate a giant and forgotten bar of Toblerone that is way past its consume before date. The stupid teen brain rationalized it like this: “Hmmm… well honey last forever, right?”. No ill effects after. :D

  8. I tried using a big jar of Skippy peanut butter a month past its expiration date for kare-kare once. It still tasted good and we didn’t get sick or anything.



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