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Author Notes: I've got a fig tree in my yard that produces a bounty of fruit each summer, more than I can reasonably grill, preserve, make into jams, serve over ice cream; you get the picture. This recipe is a riff on the simple Roman caccio e pepe pasta, made a bit more savory and cheesy and finished off with fresh figs. —Pete
Serves 4 (as a main course)
pound pasta (fettucine, linguini, spaghetti)
tablespoons butter, divided
tablespoons olive oil
teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
pound sliced prosciutto, cut into 1 inch pieces
teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked (coarse)
cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
tablespoons Gorgonzola (soft, sold as "dolce")
fresh black figs, quartered
- Bring water to a boil, season with salt. Cook pasta according to directions, to just before al dente. Drain, reserving at least 2 cups pasta cooking water.
- While pasta is cooking, heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add and melt 3 tbsp butter. Add 1½ tsp. rosemary. Add prosciutto pieces and cook, stirring constantly, until the pieces begin to reach a golden color. Add pepper.
- Add 1 cup reserved pasta water to the skillet and stir while bringing to a simmer. The liquid will become an emulsion and appear thicker. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, stirring and tossing until melted. Add gorgonzola and toss until melted and well blended into the pasta. Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry (you want the sauce to be creamy and clingy but by no means forming puddles). Remove pan from heat; add remaining parmesan cheese, toss until cheese melts and the sauce is creamy and coats the pasta. Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry. (Again, pasta is coated and creamy, not runny). Add the figs and lightly toss.