Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pasta Primavera

Sometimes, you just have to wing it with whatever ingredients you have in the house. Earlier this week, I had leftover prosciutto, frozen peas, a pint of half and half and a hunk of parmigiano reggiano. With a little garlic, olive oil, butter and most of a box of penne...I knew my best option. Pasta Primavera!

After a quick glance at a few recipes, I decided to "wing it". Here's an easy and healthier version of this authentic Italian dish.

3/4 lb. dried whole wheat penne
4 oz sliced prosciutto
4 leaves fresh basil (washed and chopped)
2 tbs. half and half (cream is ideal, though)
grated fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. butter
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 c. frozen peas (baby peas are nice)

Bring a 2 qt. saucepan filled with water to a boil. While it is heating up, prep the basil by washing it and chopping it (see directions for creating a "chiffonade" in last entry). Use the same technique to slice up the prosciutto. Once the water is boiling, add a little kosher salt and a splash of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together, the water from boiling over, and to keep the pasta from over cooking. While the noodles cook, saute the garlic with 1 tbs. olive oil. Add two tbs. butter for flavor, if desired. Once the garlic is cooked, but not brown, add the frozen peas, basil and prosciutto. Continue to saute over medium heat to warm the ingredients. Add the half and half and turn the heat to low. Once the pasta is done, strain it. Return it to the cooking pan and add the contents of the saute pain. Return to the stove with the heat at low. Once the primavera is mixed with the noodles, add the fresh parmigiano to thicken the sauce and intensify the flavor.

Serve immediately with extra cheese.

“Glass City Gourmet” is a chronicle of one woman's attempt to cook, eat, diet and entertain with both flair and whimsy while based in Toledo, Ohio. I encourage you to read on as the "Glass City Gourmet" attempts grand recipes, samples locally owned restaurants, visits indigenous markets and humbly pursues her quest to be formally recognized as the official "Glass City Gourmet".

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