Farfalle with Sweet Green Peas and Prosciutto Cotto
Published by Knopf
We used to grow our own peas here at Gangivecchio, back when there was someone to shell them. But times have changed. Now we have a smaller staff, women all over Italy are working outside the home, even grannies are not grannies anymore; they are going off to play tennis or find a boyfriend. Once they were staying home, taking care of the children, and shelling peas and beans. Nowadays, we use only frozen peas. This dish is the sort of pasta that the middle class thinks is very elegant, perhaps because with butterflies and peas, it seems light. And the flavors are subtle, especially for those who are used to heavier dishes with tomatoes and onions.
“For me, boiling water is a comforting thing. When the water is boiling, it means I’m halfway through, and I’m about to sit down with my pasta. Especially when I’m alone in the kitchen: the water starts to boil and even if I don’t put the pasta in yet, the sound of the boiling water is like having company in the kitchen.”
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Taste and Texturebuttery, light, salty
Type of Dishdry pasta
- 1 pound farfalle
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 scallion, minced (white part only)
- ½ pound frozen petite green peas
- ¼ pound prosciutto cotto (boiled ham), cut into ½-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup (about 1½ ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for passing at the table
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Stir in a small fistful of salt and the farfalle and boil until the pasta is tender.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter with a tablespoon or two of water in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the scallions and sauté them for a minute or two, until they soften. Add the peas, ham, and salt and pepper to taste, and a small ladleful of hot pasta water, and cook until the peas are tender. Add a splash more hot pasta water as you’re cooking if the vegetables are sticking to the pan. Taste for salt and pepper. Keep warm, and when the pasta is almost done, transfer to a pasta bowl.
Reserve a cupful of the pasta water and drain the pasta quickly in a colander. Turn the pasta into the serving bowl on top of the peas and scallion condimento. Toss, adding a splash of hot pasta water if necessary. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, and serve hot with more Parmesan at the table.
2005 Wanda Tornabene and Giovanna Tornabene