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Pasta with Peas, Arugula & Prosciutto

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Serves 4-6 as a main course

Arugula packs a lot more zip than most other greens. And, if you're familiar with this peppery, nutty leaf, you know how much depth and character it brings to salads. But why stop at salads? Arugula is excellent in cooked dishes—like pasta—as well. For this meal, forget your typical pasta sauce. Toss the orecchiette or penne with a mature arugula, pea and prosciutto mix for a dish that surprises and satisfies.

  • 1 lb. dried pasta, such as orecchiette or penne
  • 1 lb. arugula (about 4 small bunches)
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. fresh English peas, shelled (pods discarded or saved for vegetable stock) or 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 10 thin slices prosciutto, diced (6 to 7 oz.)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano; plus 3/4 cup shavings for garnish
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Tip:
Use a sharp vegetable peeler to get those perfect Parmigiano shavings on top.

Put a pot of water on to boil. Salt it well and boil the pasta following the package directions.

Meanwhile, trim, wash, and thoroughly dry the arugula; chop it coarsely and set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter. Add the garlic and sauté until barely golden, about 2 minutes. Add the peas and sauté until tender-crisp, another 3 to 4 minutes if using fresh or 1 minute if using thawed frozen. Season lightly with salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, remove the peas and garlic from the pan and set aside. Leave as much liquid in the pan as possible and add the olive oil to the pan. Add the prosciutto and cook until very lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the arugula in batches, stirring and adding handfuls as it wilts. Add the lemon juice. Cook for only a few minutes, just until all the greens have wilted.

When the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the peas, prosciutto, arugula, and grated Parmigiano, along with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Season with more ground pepper; toss. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. If the pasta seems dry, toss with more of the reserved cooking water. To serve, garnish each portion with the parsley and the Parmigiano shavings. 

Serving Suggestions

Serve with crusty bread and a fresh salad, or combine the two in this starter: Garlic Crostini with Spinach, Mushroom & Parmigiano Salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 620; Fat (g): fat g 28; Fat Calories (kcal): 250; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 12; Protein (g): protein g 30; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 60; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 2175; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 70; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

A bit tasteless...? Added more lemon and cracked pepper.

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