March 10, 2020

Tagliatelle al Prosciutto

A stunning pasta dish whose secret lies in its top quality ingredients; it is also quick and easy to put together. .

Ingredients PER PERSON (multiply as needed) 
about 100g/3.5 oz of fresh tagliatelle (egg noodles) 
60g of minced Prosciutto Crudo di Parma*
1 walnut sized nob of sweet, unsalted butter
2-3 tablespoons of 26 months or more Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
*If you can’t find it already minced, then mince it yourself with a mezzaluna or in a food processor.
Method
  1. Prep your ingredients
  2. Make the pasta … and roll it thin! (you can do this several hours beforehand) 
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, toss in the prosciutto and break it up, toss around for a minute or so
  4. Cook the fresh pasta in boiling, salted water (about 2-3 minutes)
  5. Drain pasta and toss with butter and prosciutto
  6. Sprinkle the parmigiano cheese on top
  7. Dig in: rejoice in all things simple!

A note about the ingredients and balance:
The difference between a “just okay” and “amazing” dish has EVERYTHING to do with the quality of your ingredients. Herein lies the secret of Italian food, get the best ingredients you can get your hands on. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it has to be very good though.
So make sure that you are using the best tasting sweet, unsalted butter; it should taste creamy. The the prosciutto crudo should NOT be salty, if it is genuine Prosciutto di Parma (look for the distintive crown marking on the ham or package) it won’t be salty. The Parmigiano Reggiano cheese should be freshly grated and aged over 24 months, preferably 30 -36 months old. Why? because the taste of Parmigiano Reggiano changes as it ages: the younger 12-18 months has creamy and caramel type notes whereas the older 30-36 months has nutty notes and has more umami (do I dare say that?). 
The reason why this dish works so well is that the sweet butter is in perfect harmony with the sweet and savoury Prosciutto and the umami-rich Parmigiano. It is a perfect balance of flavours. One subpar ingredient and you’ll find yourself having to “fix” this dish with other ingredients. Fix it if you must but don’t deny yourself the pleasure of this sensory experience with the right ingredients. When #lessismore
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