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Recipe

Penne with Crisp Prosciutto, Zucchini and Corn

Maren Caruso

Servings: 4

Sautéing the prosciutto in a skillet crisps and intensifies its texture and flavor so it becomes like a refined version of bacon. Instead of overpowering the dish, the prosciutto complements the sweetness of the corn, brightness of the mint, and delicate flavor of the zucchini.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto (about 4 oz.), cut into strips
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 2 small zucchini (about 3/4 lb.), trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ears corn, shucked and kernels sliced off (about 1 cup), or 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 1 lb. penne
  • 2 tsp. sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, put 2 Tbs. oil and the prosciutto in a large (12-inch) skillet, place over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the prosciutto browns in places and becomes crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the prosciutto to a large plate lined with paper towels.
  • Add 1 Tbs. oil and the onion to the skillet, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens completely and turns light brown, about 6 minutes; add 1 or 2 Tbs. water to the skillet if the onion starts to stick or burn. Add the zucchini and corn, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, tossing occasionally, until the zucchini becomes tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in half the Pecorino-Romano and all the mint.
  • Add the penne to the pot of boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Add the pasta, the remaining 2 Tbs. oil, the vinegar, and 1 tsp. black pepper to the skillet with the zucchini and corn mixture. Set the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute so the pasta mixes with the vegetables. Add the reserved pasta water and stir. Serve sprinkled with the crisp prosciutto and the remaining Pecorino-Romano.

For the real zucchini lovers at the table, serve the pasta with a colorful Zucchini Ribbon Salad.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • gdlohr | 08/14/2014

    Fantastic. Substituted two boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced, that I smoked over oak on my stovetop smoker for prosciutto. Mint was superb, but a little oregano might have been magic, too.

  • Miss_B | 07/18/2014

    We enjoyed this very much and will make again. Used Italian spices instead of the mint, which I didn't have, but will try with mint next time. Thanks.

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