Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Paglia e Fieno

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Better known to us as Straw and Hay, this pasta dish is one for the record books. The spinach mixed in with the standard semolina white colored pasta makes for a beautiful dish.

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What makes this dish so delicious is the crunchy, salty bite of the Prosciutto with the creaminess of the flavorful sauce. Let’s start with the Prosciutto.

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So first I started with rolling up the Prosciutto like a cigar, then slicing it into thin strips. I added 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to a large saute pan. Now I’m not saying this is a low calorie dish, but once and a while, we need to treat ourselves. Just have a smaller portion with a small light salad and enjoy. Anyway I start rendering the Prosciutto down until it becomes nice and crisp and remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon to reserve the flavor in the pan for the onions and garlic.

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Above are the ingredients I’m going to add to the saute pan with the drippings from the Prosciutto and butter. I have 1 large onion, diced, and 3 minced cloves of garlic.

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I add 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat. On the back burner I have a large pot of salted water boiling waiting for me to drop the pasta in.  After the onions and garlic have softened I add one cup of heavy cream. At this point I like to season the sauce with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper. I then add in 8 ounces of softened Mascarpone cheese to the pan on med low heat, cooking it slowly. Stir this around until the Mascarpone cheese has all melted and is well combined.  The sauce doesn’t take long to thicken, so you have to watch it closely. You don’t want to walk away from the pan. Now I drop the pasta into the water. While the pasta is cooking I finish this sauce.

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At this point in the picture above the sauce has thickened so I toss in some fresh finely chopped Italian parsley and 1-1/2 cup of grated Pecorino cheese. Turn off the heat and stir all this through. Finally I add 1 cup of thawed frozen peas. The sauce will warm the peas through. The pasta is now done, so with a spoon like strainer, I transfer the pasta into the cream sauce. Gently stir the pasta through this creamy cheesy sauce and top with the crunchy Prosciutto. I like to reserve some of the cooked Prosciutto for garnishing the top of each dish. There you have it, Paglia e Fieno, a delicious traditional Italian pasta dish.

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