Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pea, Pimiento and Prosciutto Pasta

With my recent vow to cut back on fatty foods (it's a short term thing, I'm already planning my next bake-a-thon) my quest to get through my recipe clippings has fallen behind a little. Now when I cook I aim to get through at least one clipping per week. It's not really a rule, just the way it's working out.

I've had this recipe for ages. Since 2002 to be precise. I must have torn it out of the Sunday Life magazine whilst at home on university holidays. Next to the pasta are "Quick Pasta Sauce Ideas From the Deli" whilst on the opposite side is Chicken with Potatoes and Olives and Marinated Bocconcini. I tried the former last year and wasn't too impressed. Marinated bocconcini is a keeper however...maybe I'll blog about that another time.

So, the pasta. To start with, it includes one of my favourite vegetables: frozen peas (no really). I think I like frozen peas so much because it takes me back to being a child and eating them, still frozen, whilst waiting for our meat and 3 veg. The recipe calls for small pasta shapes however S-bo had recently done a bit of work at a pasta manufacturer and as a result I had some delicious fettuccini. Not entirely suited to this dish, as you want to get as many components on your fork at once, but delicious all the same.

The pimiento sauce adds a little kick although it wasn't necessarily the peppers that I used. I had some roasted red pepper strips from the supermarket leftover from something or other. They weren't terribly exciting but did need to be used up, so I combined them with some freshly bought roasted red capsicum from the deli. I think the kick might have actually come from the mustard seed floating around the supermarket variety. Anyway, long story short, there was a kick and it was pleasant.

Don't be alarmed if you make this recipe and the sauce is a little runny. I kept boiling and boiling to thicken but it really wasn't necessary.

Pea, Pimiento and Prosciutto Pasta
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh peas
3 zucchini, sliced
100 g prosciutto, cut into strips
300 g small pasta shapes
1 1/2 cups pimiento sauce (below)
1 cup small Ligurian olives
salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook peas on boiling for 3 minutes, then drain well and keep warm. Pan-fry zucchini slices in a little oil to brown. Set aside. Pan-fry proscuitto strips until crisp.

Meanwhile, cook pasta until just tender. Drain well and toss with pimiento sauce, peas, zucchini, proscuitto and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6

Pimiento Sauce
1 cup pimientos or roasted red capsicum
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Puree half pimientos and juice with garlic and chicken stock. Thinly slice remaining pimientos.

Place puree and pimiento strips in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 1 1/2 cups

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