Penne with Asparagus, Proscuitto and Lemon

By • January 21, 2010 9 Comments

63 + Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Author Notes: This is my adaptation of a dish from the fabulous "Al Forno" restaurant in Providence, RI. The key to it's success comes from cooking it in a large enough pan to hold all the pasta in a very thin layer. This allows the pasta to cook to al dente, and the asparagus to just cook through in a short amount of time in a very hot oven. The flavors of the lemon, tarragon, proscuitto and asparagus marry perfectly....don't expect any left-overs.Oui, Chef

Serves 8

  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 3/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 3/4 cup fontina cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup rich chicken stock (2 cups good quality low-sodium stock, reduced by half)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, washed, dried and root ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely minced
  • 5 ounces thinly sliced imported prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of white pepper
  • 1/3 cup seasoned breadcumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 500 ?.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
  3. For the breadcrumbs - in a saute pan heat 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium heat and toast 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until golden brown.  Spread on a plate to cool.  (Keep the balance for 2 days in the fridge, or a long time in the freezer).
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cream, reduced stock, lemon zest, tarragon, cheeses, salt and pepper.
  5. Slice the asparagus on an extreme bias, about 1/8-1/4” thick and toss into a small bowl with the melted butter, mix to coat.
  6. Boil the pasta for 4 minutes, then drain and toss into the bowl with the cream and other ingredients, mix well.
  7. Pour the pasta into a large baking dish or roasting pan so that it fits comfortably in a thin layer no more than 1” deep. Sprinkle the sliced asparagus and chopped prosciutto on top and toss it into the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling, and the pasta is just starting to brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve, passing breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top if desired (highly recommended).

More Great Recipes: Entrees|Pork|Pasta|Asparagus|Ricotta

💬 View Comments ()