"Blind Melon": Pasta alla vodka with prosciutto and cantaloupe

By Chris Hagan
July 14, 2015
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"Blind Melon": Pasta alla vodka with prosciutto and cantaloupe


Author Notes: Some friends and I have a supper club here in D.C., where every Wednesday, one person cooks a themed meal for the group while everyone else brings booze and does the dishes after. I created this dish as part of my "Columbia House Supper Club (aka '90s Jukebox)" dinner.Chris Hagan

Serves: 4-8

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted butter, divided
  • 6 ounces Prosciutto, thin strips
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped (2 cups, give or take)
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup Good-quality vodka
  • 28 ounces Good-quality crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Ripe cantaloupe, 1/2 inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound Orecchiette or shells
  • 1/4 cup Basil chiffonade

Directions

  1. Melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Crisp prosciutto, remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside to drain on paper towels. Add remaining 2 tbsp butter and the onions and cook, stirring, until translucent and wilted, about 5 mins. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it takes on some color, a minute or two. Deglaze with vodka. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer 10 mins or so, until the alcohol cooks off. Add melon, cream, salt and pepper. Cook until heated through, two or three minutes more.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2-1 cup cooking water. Toss pasta with tomato-melon sauce and some of the reserved water. Garnish with crisped prosciutto and basil and serve.

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