The Dish: Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

9:07 AM

After watching last week's No Reservations, I was jonesing for some cured meat. I'm talking about the real deal - prosciutto di Parma. Russo's in Watertown is my supplier (along with almost everything else in our fridge and pantry). If I'm starting to sound like an addict, it's because I pretty much am one when it comes to savory, porky goodness.

There are tons of great recipes for prosciutto. But I needed to find a dish that I knew my boys would love. Something with pasta and cheese. And for me, something I could whip up in no time - pasta with prosciutto and peas (adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast). Tip: the shells do a great job hiding the peas from little ones who don't like their peas!

12 oz medium shells
2 Tbs butter
1 large shallot (finely chopped)
1/3 cup half and half
1 package frozen peas, thawed
8 slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water; drain pasta and return to the pot

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a large skillet, melt 1 tbs butter over medium-low heat; add the shallot and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the half & half, peas, and prosciutto; bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the peas are heated through (3-4 minutes)

3. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Pour the sauce over the past; add the Parmesan and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and enough of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce as desired. Serve immediately; top with additional Parmesan.

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