Pasta with Prosciutto, Snap Peas, Mint and Cream

By • April 16, 2010 31 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a play on a classic: peas, prosciutto, cream and pasta. I make a pasta with jalapenos, cream and prosciutto, and so I built this sauce the same way but used peas instead of jalapenos. Fresh mint added at the end, along with the peas, gives the dish a light, springy flavor that pairs well with the cream, prosciutto and cheese. - lecheflechef

Food52 Review: Although it may sound very rich, there are several details that keep this pasta sprightly and fresh, rather than heavy. First, lechef is not shy with the big flavors: 4 cloves of garlic, 4 shallots and a heap of diced prosciutto make the cream sauce sing, and the pop of crisp sugar snaps punctuates every bite. A fistful of parmesan gives the sauce body as well as a nutty tang. Make sure not to cook the peas for too long -- the key here is retaining just the right amount of crunch to offset the cream and starch. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 4

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto shank, finely diced
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 1 pint cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 pound fresh snap peas, whole, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound (3/4 box) pasta, farfalle or orechiette
  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the garlic for 2-3 minutes until just beginning to color.
  2. Add the prosciutto and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. I use whole prosciutto shanks because my butcher has them, but you can also ask for a 1/4 inch thick slice of prosciutto and chop that up instead. I think this works much better in pasta than thin slices.
  3. Add the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes to soften, and season with a pinch or two of salt and a turn or two of fresh black pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, bring your pasta water to a boil, salt it, and add your pasta. You will want to time the pasta to be finished just as the sauce is finishing so that the cream doesn't sit long.
  5. With about 3 minutes left on your pasta, add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. We want them to retain their crunch. With one minute remaining, add the cream and quickly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the cheese, stir, and reduce the heat to low.
  6. Drain the pasta, and toss with the sauce to coat. Sprinkle liberally with fresh mint, and serve with black pepper and extra Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

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