Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring

Salt Table’s All Round Good Grinder Blend (or Southern Italian Blend)

Adapted from my book Ham: A Savor the South® Cookbook, this hearty sauce is simplified by seasoning it with All Round Good Grinder Blend. Southern Italian Blend would be another excellent seasoning as would Cobblestone Blend. I serve it as a main dish followed by a simple mixed green salad.

Serves 4-6


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or 1½ tablespoons butter and 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup small-diced cooked ham
  • 1 medium yellow onion, split lengthwise, peeled, and diced small
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, optional
  • Salt Table’s All Round Good Grinder Blend or Southern Italian Blend
  • ½ cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
  • 2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped, with their juices
  • Salt Table Halle Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 1 pound penne or other short, tubular pasta or short fusilli (rotini)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

How to make it:

  1. Heat the butter (or butter and oil) in a large (3 quart) sauté pan over medium heat until hot and bubbly. Add the ham and sauté until it’s beginning to color on the edges. Add the onion and sauté until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary (if using) and toss until fragrant, about half a minute. Season well with Good Grinder Blend.
  2. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned cooking residue. Let it boil until it is mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, bring it to a boil, and reduce the heat to a steady simmer. Simmer, stirring every now and again, until the sauce is thick, about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the Good Grinder Blend and turn off the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil in a 6-8 quart pot. Toss in at least 1 rounded tablespoon Halle or Himalayan Pink salt, stir, and stir in the pasta. Cook until al dente (firm to the bite, but cooked all the way through and not pasty at the center). When the pasta is almost done, gently reheat the sauce over medium low heat.
  4. When the pasta is ready, drain it quickly, being careful not to over-drain it, and immediately toss it with the sauce. Sprinkle ½ cup of the cheese over it, toss well, and serve immediately, passing the remaining cheese separately.


Suggested Seasonings

All ‘Round Good Grinder Blend