Let’s have a show of hands from those of you who like cooked ham.
Now, let’s take that cooked ham, add a few herbs and roast it. Like it even more?
The reason why I’m asking is because the cooked and roasted Italian ham – Prosciutto Cotto Arrosto – is a key ingredient in a recipe that’s sure to provide you with a “fork full of Heaven” in each and every bite. And even better than its heavenly taste, this recipe takes less than 15-minutes to prepare, plate and get underway.
Now how LAZY is that?
We call this culinary quickie the Lazy Person’s Creamy Prosciutto Cotto Arrosto Pasta – LPCPCAP for short. It’s a pasta in bianco – white pasta, no tomato sauce.
Now, a Lazy Person recipe wouldn’t be complete without an historical footnote, or, in the case of the LPCPCAP, an historical THIGHnote. And I’ll sneak it in here, and then on to the recipe.
Prosciutto comes from the Latin word perexsuctum, meaning prosciugato in Italian (dried thoroughly, or deprived of all liquid).
Prosciutto has been around in Italy since at least the Roman Republic (4-3 BC), and may have been introduced earlier by the Etruscans (8-5 BC), that marvelous tribe that tamed the earth under the sun that we’ve come to love today, Tuscany.
There are two basic preparation methods.
First, Prosciutto Crudo, air-cured ham that’s bathed in salt, pepper, pork fat and, sometimes, herbs and sugar, then hung out to dry for up to 16-months.
Second, Prosciutto Cotto, boiled ham, which can be further coated with aromatic herbs and then roasted, becoming Prosciutto Cotto Arrosto, and that’s where we’re headed.
Okay. That’s the quick Prosciutto primer.
May I have the apron please, and a drum roll.
LAZY PERSON’S CREAMY PROSCIUTTO COTTO ARROSTO PASTA
Ingredients (per person)
90-100 gr (3.0-3.5 oz) of Sedani Rigate pasta (or Penne Rigate)
2 large thin slices (40 gr/1.4 oz) of Prosciutto Cotto-Arrosto
60 ml (1/3 cup) of Heavy Cream
44 gr (3 tablespoons) of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese
5 gr (1 teaspoon) freshly ground (medium coarseness) Black Pepper
1 Medium-size pot of Boiling Water
1 handful of Salt
Cooking and Prep Time: 12-15 min. (not including time to boil the water)
Step-1: Fill the pot with water, cover, set on highest heat and begin the boiling process
Step-2: While waiting for the water to boil, weigh the pasta
Step-3: Measure the cream and grate the cheese
Step-4: Cut the ham into bite-size pieces
Step-5: As the water boils, uncover, add salt and the Sedani Rigate pasta, stir, then wait 10-min.
Step-6: You’ve now got about 10-min. to kill, so set the table, uncork the wine and unleash some Andrea Bocelli around the house to sweep you away to the Bel Paese.
Step-7: At the 10-min. mark of the pasta cooking, take a piece and check its al dente status. The pasta needs to be firm, but not hard. Continue taking samples until its just right.
Step-8: Drain the pasta and reintroduce it back into the now empty pot.
Step-9: On low heat, add the cream to the pasta and stir.
Step-10: On the heels of Step-9, add the grated cheese and continue stirring.
Step-11: On the heels of Step-10, add the pieces of ham and continue stirring until the cream has reduced down to a slightly thick-not-runny consistency (about 1.5-2 min. from the start of Step-9).
Step-12: Remove from heat, plate the pasta, add the freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Wine Pairing: Bardolino Chiaretto DOC – Cantina di Soave (VR), Italy – A rosé with a fruity bouquet, showing raspberry and pomegranate. Well balanced, with a fine crispness and fragrance. The palate is harmonious, with slightly bitterish nuances. Due to its light character, it marries well with light foods, cheeses and pasta dishes, like the LPCPCAP. Enjoy at 10-12 °C (50-53 °F).
Not too shabby for someone who really doesn’t have much of a clue around the kitchen, and is just plain LAZY, right? Now it’s your turn. Have fun. Don’t panic. And, most importantly, Buon Appetito!
©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images