Recently, much of my culinary mojo has been focused on getting my mother to eat actual food during her stint in orthopedic rehab. One day not too long ago, a Real Live Italian Angel (no, really) sent me some sugar snap peas fresh from the farmers market, along with a generous quantity of really good prosciutto. [Edited to add: I have now been informed that the sugar snap peas came not from the market, but from the garden of the Italian Angel. In addition to her celestial duties she is also a Master Gardner]. It happened that the Pea and Prosciutto Courier had been entrusted with a recipe for a quick, fresh, pasta dish using both ingredients to great advantage, and we whipped some up. At our house we ate the dish alongside a beautiful piece of cod baked with butter and lemon, but my mother ate hers all by itself, savoring every still-crunchy pea.
Penne with Sugar Snap Peas and Prosciutto
- 1 lb. dried penne pasta
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 lb. sugar snap peas, strings pulled
- 1/4 lb. prosciutto
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Splash dry white wine (optional)
- Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Begin boiling water for pasta, and steam sugar snap peas; your goal is just to get the raw taste out of them while leaving them crisp. If you have a pasta pot with a steamer insert, you can steam peas over the pasta water for 2-3 minutes, otherwise they are easily steamed in the microwave or in a folding steamer insert.
When water is boiling, salt water, add pasta, and boil for 10 minutes.
While pasta boils, melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and sautee onion until transparent. Add prosciutto and sautee about 2 more minutes. Add steamed peas, a splash of white wine, and salt and pepper to taste.
Drain pasta, reserving a cup of water from the pasta pot. Stir pasta into pea and prosciutto mixture, adding a bit of pasta water to form a bit of sauce.
Serve with Parmesan for grating.