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Creamy Orecchiette with Spinach and Prosciutto

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Serves 4 to 6

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 120

Mascarpone, a soft, rich cow’s milk cheese, gives this pasta dish its creamy texture. Look for small tubs of it at the supermarket in the cheese or dairy case.

  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 lb. dried orecchiette or medium shells
  • 8 oz. baby spinach leaves (about 8 lightly packed cups)
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 2 oz. coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup using a box grater)
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 oz. prosciutto (about 4 thin slices), coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Gently stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, a few seconds. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta and spinach.

Return the pot to the stove over low heat, add the mascarpone, Parmigiano, and lemon zest and cook until the mascarpone has melted, about 1 minute. Add the pasta, spinach, reserved pasta water, and the prosciutto and toss gently. Season to taste with pepper and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 460; Fat (g): fat g 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 200; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 12; Protein (g): protein g 18; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 48; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 590; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 65; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Jennifer May

I followed the instructions exactly and loved how easy this was. Unfortunately, it was quite bland. While there's nothing bad about it, it was not nearly as tasty as many of the recipes I try from Fine cooking. I don't think I would make this again.

I didn't love this. I mostly know what I'm getting into with recipes based on the ingredients. I used whole wheat pasta, which added another depth of flavor I just did not enjoy. I am also not a huge fan of salty foods-the prosciutto overpowered the rest of the dish.

So easy and so delicious. Frankly I was surprised by the simplicity of it not to mention how quickly it came together. Just beautiful.

For two people I used 6 oz orecchiette and a 5 oz pkg of baby spinach. Very good, but next time I might try adding either some garlic and/or basil.

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