What are you going to do with all of that leftover Easter ham? The obvious choice may be for you to consider making split pea soup. Think outside the box. Think Utica New York's most classic dish.

Why not use some of that ham on a classic Utica dish? You could honestly create Ham Riggies. Yes, it isn't chicken riggies.....but why not take advantage of that delicious ham you will have?

This twist on Utica's classic dish is actually pretty simple to create. THIS video lays everything out step by step. For the ham, substitute what they suggest and use your Easter ham. This recipe was by Karen Pugliese and Kinka Thierry:

You could also use rigatoni pasta in this simple pasta dish with the ham: Creamy Riggies with Broccoli and Ham. This recipe serves up to 4, and could make plenty of lunches. Here's the ingredients:

Salt and pepper
1 pound rigatoni pasta
4 cups small broccoli florets (from 1 medium head broccoli)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 ounces cooked ham, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan"

You can find the full recipe here.

Utica’s Chicken Riggies Dish Wasn’t Invented in Utica?

Bill Keeler / WIBX
Bill Keeler / WIBX
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So, who created the first "Riggies" recipe and where did it really originate? According to the chefs who were there, it was not invented in Utica. It was only made famous there.

We interviewed several Utica-area chefs to get to the bottom of the dish's creation, including the late great chef Michael Geno, the late great chef Joe Morelle (who created the Utica Greens dish which is equally famous), Charlie Digristina of It's a Utica Thing!, Jeff Daniels of Daniele's at Valley View and others. While there are differing versions of the story, most agree the dish originated just a few miles from Utica in a kitchen at a restaurant in Clinton. Read the rest of that mystery online here.

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