November 2, 2011


On my last visit to Italy I ate one of the most delicious Pasta dishes of my life.  That is saying a lot having been to Italy many times over the years and eating my way across the country and back.  It was one that I had to recreate a recipe for when I came home because I could not get that Amazing flavor combination of Linguine in a Cream Sauce of Spring Peas, Mushrooms, Prosciutto and Mint out of my mind.  The Mint was, at first, something that I thought would not be good in a savory dish, but it works.  The Mint gives a great fresh bright taste to the Cream Sauce and rounds out the flavors of the Prosciutto, Mushrooms and Peas well.  This is a quick cooking dish that requires all of your prep work to be done ahead of time.   Being able to eat the best dishes from Italy is easy when you are Cooking The Amazing

Antica Trattoria Tritone in Rome.  An amazing restaurant where we ate this delicious Pasta.

The real dish from Italy that insptired this recipe.  This one uses Tagliatelli Pasta.

Here is the recipe.

1 lb.  Fresh Linguine
2 T  Butter
2 T  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 T  Finely Diced Onion
1 c  Fresh Mushrooms Sliced
1  Clove of Garlic, Peeled
1/2 t  Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 c  Heavy Cream
4 oz.  Prosciutto, Sliced In Strips
1 c  Parmesan Cheese, Grated Fine
1 c  Fresh Peas (or Frozen Thawed)
1/2 c  Reserved Pasta Water
40  Mint Leaves, Chopped Fine
Fine Grain Sea Salt To taste
Parmesan Cheese To Finish

1.  Plan ahead and prepare all of the chopping, dicing, slicing etc. and set aside.  This dish cooks fast and everything needs to be ready to go.  Finely dice 4 T of Onion (approximately 1/2 of a medium onion).  Slice fresh Mushrooms thin to equal 1 c.  Peel one clove of Garlic and make a slice with a knife in the end.  Later you will be pulling the Garlic out so keep it whole to find it easily.  Slice the Prosciutto into 2 inch strips.  It will get sticky and ball up as you slice it, don't worry.  Grate 1 c of Parmesan Cheese finely.  Parmigiano Reggiano is the best choice for the cheese but it is expensive and worth it for the flavor it provides.  (Whole Foods Market sells it by the chunk.)  Measure out 1 c of Fresh Peas (or Thawed frozen Peas works well, too).  Chop finely 45 Fresh Mint leaves (see below).    Put a large pot of Salted Water on high heat on the stove to boil for the Pasta.
Stack 10 of the Mint Leaves in a pile. 
Fold the stacked leaves over in half and cut crosswise into thin ribbons.
Cut the ribbons into smaller pieces.  Repeat with the remaining Mint leaves.
 2.  In a large pan over medium heat add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Butter.  Once the Butter has melted add the finely diced Onions and Mushrooms, the whole Garlic clove and the fresh ground Black Pepper.   Saute for 4-5 minutes until the Onions and Mushrooms are softened with just a little brown color beginning to emerge. 
3.  Your Pasta water should be well Salted and boiling now.  Add your Linguine and cook until almost soft and cooked (al dente).  Later you will use 1/2 c of the Pasta Water after the Pasta is done in the Sauce so do not pour it all down the drain.  Cook the Pasta while you finish the Sauce.

4.  Add 1 c of Heavy Cream to the sauteed Onions and Mushrooms and stir in well.  Simmer for 2 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove the Garlic Clove and discard after simmering.
5.  Add the Prosciutto and Peas and stir in well and turn off the heat. 
6.  With the heat remaining off, add the Parmesan Cheese and stir in well then add 1/2 c of Pasta Water direct from the pot of boiling Pasta.  This is a very Italian cooking technique that binds the Sauce using the starches from the Pasta.  Stir until the Parmesan Cheese incorporates into the Sauce.

7.  Keep the heat off.  To the Sauce add all of the cooked Pasta immediately at once.  Do not strain it, just pull it out directly from the boiling pot and toss it in the Sauce, dripping wet and all.  Quickly stir in well and then add the chopped Mint and stir well.  Taste the Sauce and add Sea Salt if needed.   Serve immediately and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese on top.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2011

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG I am drooling!! Can't WAIT to try this when I get home! Keep the great recipes coming!