Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto and Lettuce

June 17th, 2010

I read the New York Times online every Wednesday. Specifically, I read the Food and Wine section. Mark Bittman always has interesting recipes. They are healthy, consciously raised, and real foodstuff. Many of us are trying to eat sanely. We are trying to avoid overly processed and chemically altered food. I try on my blog to offer recipes that use ingredients that are fresh, seasonal and as local as possible. But I usually try not to state the obvious so as not to come off as preachy. But starting next Tuesday I am joining a group of fellow bloggers who are spreading the word about real food. This was brought to my attention by Girlichef. This is how she explains it.

“This Tuesday marks the start of the Two for Tuesdays! Blog Hop Carnival. Two for Tuesdays is the brainchild of Alex from A Moderate Life. It began on her site as a day to link up one (or two) of your blog posts that featured REAL FOOD. Recipes, anecdotes, stories, photos, reviews…anything your blogged about featuring REAL food. What is REAL food, you ask? Think: slow food, traditional food, hand-prepared food, nourishing food…food that is NOT processed….food that doesn’t come from a package…food that your great-grandmother would have made &/or eaten. REAL food is homemade. REAL food is from scratch. REAL food has recognizable ingredients. REAL food is made from traditional ingredients. REAL food is food you make with your own hands…from food grown, milled, raised by you or by people (not machines). Think family farmer. Think farmer’s market. Think garden. Think local grain mill. Think REAL.”

So, although this is not Tuesday, I wanted to join the group. My first recipe is this wonderful pasta dish from Mark Bittman. It is serendipitous that this recipe appeared this Wednesday in the New York Times because my garden was producing the first of the snow peas we planted and it is overrun with lettuce. I have fixed so many salads that I was looking for something different to do with it. What better way to use piles of lettuce than to wilt it into a pasta dish! So I present to you a recipe fresh from my garden using an artisanal pasta and Prosciutto. Even if you don’t have a garden, Farmer’s Markets now have fresh lettuce and snow peas or peas in the pod. This was an excellent dish using very few ingredients, but using only the best.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 ounces thinly slices prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch-wide strips
1/2 pound pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot
minced black pepper to taste
2 cups peas or snow peas sliced
1 head lettuce, sliced
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or dry white wine, more as needed
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it. Meanwhile, put one tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add prosciutto and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes; set aside.
When water boils, add pasta and cook until just tender; drain pasta, reserving some cooking liquid. Meanwhile, melt butter with remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook until shallot begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add peas, lettuce and stock or wine to skillet and cook until peas turn bright green and lettuce is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add pasta to pan and continue cooking and stirring until everything is just heated through, adding extra stock or some reserved cooking liquid if needed to moisten. Toss with Parmesan cheese, garnish with prosciutto, adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
Go to Girlichef to link up with other Two for Tuesday bloggers.

9 responses to “Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto and Lettuce”

  1. Penny, I’m so glad to see you’ve joined Girlichef in her Tuesday posts. I also read Mark in the Times. I can hear his voice as I read, which is fun.

    Your pasta dish sounds fabulous with home grown lettuce and peas.

  2. I love that you are doing this. I have been trying very hard myself to serve what I call whole foods…No preservatives, no processing. I will admit that it is not easy.

    This recipe sounds delicious!

  3. girlichef says:

    I adore Mark Bittman!! And I adore this dish…it sounds amazing…fresh, tasty and REAL! Thanks so much for bringing it to Two for Tuesdays this week…and it’s NEVER too late ;).

  4. Beth says:

    I’m so glad you added this to our Two for Tuesday blog hop! I have put a lot of things in pasta before, but it has never entered my mind to add lettuce – what a great idea! This pasta sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Penny, I can’t imagine you ever being preachy. I’m glad to see you join in Two for Tuesdays. This looks like a great addition to the real food collection.

  6. This is such a beautiful dish! It looks fantastic! Thanks!

  7. this looks wonderful and I must follow cool to know more bloggers in beautiful NC I am in Winston Salem


  8. katiez says:

    I’m always putting spinach in pasta – never thought about doing it with lettuce – great idea.
    I’ll have to check out the Two for Tuesday…. I always cook real food (or did I miss something?)

  9. I love The Minimalist! His stuff is always great and he has such a genuine passion for cooking tasty food, though he never comes off as “overly” passionate.

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