Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pasta with Peas, Asparagus, Butter Lettuce, and Prosciutto

***On a recent Sunday afternoon, Brad and I were taking it easy around the house...my favorite thing to do on Sundays! We wanted a delicious but light lunch, and I had just the recipe up my sleeve! I had marked this dish in the April 2009 issue of Bon Appetit magazine....it just looked too good not to try!

Wow...this dish was so fresh and satisfying...it made the perfect meal on that lazy Sunday. The medium pasta shells really do catch all the yumminess in the salad - the parmesan cheese, prosciutto bits, etc. And this recipe doesn't only taste good - it makes an elegant presentation also!

This meal is the perfect way to welcome Spring/Summer. The fresh veggies are sure to make your tummy happy! :)

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
1/2 pound spring onions or green onions (dark green parts discarded); white parts cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, pale green parts cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons minced shallot
Coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 2 pounds peas in pods) or 2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed
1 pound campanelle (trumpet-shaped pasta) or medium (about 1-inch) shell-shaped pasta
1 head of butter lettuce or Boston lettuce (about 6 ounces), cored, leaves cut into 3/4-inch-wide slices
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips

Directions:
Melt butter with 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and shallot. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Sauté until tender (do not brown), about 8 minutes. Add wine; increase heat to medium-high and simmer until liquid is reduced to glaze, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer; set aside.

Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl of ice water. Return water to boil. Add peas and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Using skimmer, transfer to bowl with asparagus. Drain vegetables.

Return water in pot to boil. Cook pasta until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, reheat onion mixture. Add lettuce and stir just until wilted, about 1 minute. Add drained asparagus and peas; stir until heated through.

Add pasta, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, and parsley to skillet with vegetables; toss, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle prosciutto over; drizzle with olive oil. Serve, passing more cheese alongside.

Source: Bon Appetit magazine - April 2009

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