Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pasta with Prosciutto & Peas

This year our anniversary was on a Friday. Since it was a workday, we didn't want to try to go out to dinner after SP got home. Instead, we decided to cook something a little special and a little indulgent and that also happened to be easy & quick & super tasty: Pasta with Prosciutto & Peas.
The recipe is in the March & April 2015 issue of Cook's Illustrated. It had a lot of my favorite foods: pasta, prosciutto, parmesan & gruyere, plus a cream & butter sauce. Yum! I was pretty excited to try making this dish at home (we've had it out a couple of times and really enjoyed it).
Surprisingly, we had almost every ingredient already. We splurged on some of the pricier prosciutto from the Market District counter and it was sliced wonderfully thin, see through thin. We also picked up a few packages of DeLallo dried egg fettuccine. The CI article said that dried egg pasta is a good substitute for fresh pasta and this particular fettuccine is one of our favorite pastas. Sadly, we cannot always find it at MD.

SP grated the cheeses in the morning before he went to work. I sliced the prosciutto, chopped the shallot, measured the cream and butter, and got the water boiling so when SP got home, we could start cooking the sauce in a skillet and dump the pasta in a pot of boiling water right away. It took 10-15 minutes after he got home to get this delicious dinner on the table.

This is one of the tastiest pasta dishes we've made. It's also one of the quickest and easiest. We couldn't stop eating it and definitely ate more than we probably should have! Al dente pasta, sauce clinging to the noodles, the pop of sweet pea, the salty prosciutto and creamy bite of cheeses - definitely a make again dish.

It reheated nicely the next day for lunch. I reheated it in the oven in a small glass dish for 10-15 minutes.

Our version (we scaled it down):
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/2~1 tbsp butter (we had a bit more than 1/2 tbsp on the butter dish, so we used it all)
  • half a shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • one package (8.8 oz) DeLallo dried egg fettuccine
  • generous 3/4 c frozen peas
  • generous 1/4 c grated parmesan
  • generous 1/4 c grated gruyere

Slice about 5/6 of the prosciutto into strips. Mince the other 1/6. Melt butter in a skillet and add shallot. Cook until the shallot starts to soften. Stir in the heavy cream and minced prosciutto. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until cream reduces a bit. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1-2 cups cooking liquid and drain pasta. Return pasta to pot and add cream mixture, peas, and prosciutto strips. Add some of the reserved pasta liquid and gently mix everything together. If needed, add additional pasta water. Season with salt & pepper. Enjoy.

*This should be enough for 3 servings.

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