Today’s recipe comes right in time for Spring, from the pages of one of my favorite cookbooks, A Twist of the Wrist, by Nancy Silverton. This book has been a great source of lots of quick and easy meals made from easily-sourced pantry and freezer staples. (The Chicken Tonnato Salad? To. Die. For.) The recipe calls for orecchiette, whose curved shape I imagine would, as Silverton says, “capture the tiny peas” in a way orzo pasta just can’t. With orecchiette or without, I really love this dish’s simplicity: frozen peas, garlic, crÃ¨me fraÃ®che… Oh, and instead of prosciutto, I used Spanish jamon Serrano for my version — I think it’s got a nicer, more developed flavor. But whatever way you make it, it really is easy, and delicious. — Megan B.
Click for the recipe, after the jump!
Pasta with peas, prosciutto, and crÃ¨me fraÃ®che
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
8 ounces orecchiette pasta (or orzo)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, grated or minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup frozen petite peas (about 4 ounces)
1 cup crÃ¨me fraÃ®che (or sour cream, but really, just use the crÃ¨me fraÃ®che, PLEASE!)
6 thin slices prosciutto (about 3 ounces), torn in half
12 small basil leaves
Bring a large pot of salty water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occassionally to prevent sticking. In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the garlic. Cook for a couple minutes until fragrant but not browned, then reduce the heat to medium and add the peas, cooking for a few seconds, then add the crÃ¨me fraÃ®che and kosher salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until warmed through. Reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta and add it while still wet to the skillet. Toss well with the sauce and add the pasta water to create a loose sauce. Turn the heat to high and cook for 2 minutes as the sauce melds with the pasta. Spoon the pasta out of the skillet and pile it into high mounds on four plates, dividing it evenly. Spoon the sauce left in the skillet over the pasta. Rumple 3 pieces of prosciutto and lay 3 basil leaves over each serving.