Pappardelle with Prosciutto and Potatoes

I am seriously pining for longer days. Taking Roma for a five mile walk in the early afternoon, makes me either want to come home and bake or prep something for the grill. As soon as I start seriously considering it, I realize it’s going to get dark in an hour, which will completely take me out of that mode and put me into “let’s curl up on the couch with a book” mode. It’s frustrating.

Speaking of books, I’ve been reading The Name of the Wind and am finally loving it. It was starting off way to slow for me to really get into, and once I found an e-reader version, I’ve been gobbling it up. Someone explained it to me as a more mature Harry Potter, which doesn’t feel accurate, but it’s enough to get me to read it. It’s definitely a lot darker, but just as much magic. I’m into it.

I’m also into the comfort of fresh pasta. It’s really hard to find pappardelle by the way. I almost made my own out of fresh sheets of lasagna noodles. Is that weird? I just couldn’t bear to make this any other way. If it said pappardelle, I need pappardelle. I won’t accept a substitute [even though you totally could]. Sautéing the prosciutto didn’t bite me this time. You know how salty it gets. I was bracing myself for something similar, but it didn’t happen. I think the thicker cut coupled with the smaller dice and an overwhelming carb to protein ratio helped. It’s necessary to cut through that delicious pasta and potato. I know it seems like starchy overkill, but I can’t deny its deliciousness. I added a whole hell of a lot of arugula to the mix. It wasn’t anywhere on the original recipe, but I had some. I wanted greenery, if only for the color, but it was really, really good mixed into the pasta. Crisp. Fresh. Peppery. After I shot the photo, I added another two handfuls at least. It was really nice.

The only thing I’d do differently next time is reserve more pasta water than I think I need. Things felt gummy fast. I was thankful for the arugula to break things up. It still tasted great the next day, even if it was sticking together like one nacho.

Inspiration: La Cucina Italiana

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1lb pappardelle pasta
  • 1lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/4″ dice [tedious but necessary]
  • 1/3lb thick cut prosciutto [I asked the deli to cut it at least double the size that they normally do; that worked great]
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3-5 cups fresh arugula
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium high heat until it’s shimmering. Add the potato and prosciutto. Reduce heat to medium low and cover, cooking for about 8-10 minutes until the potato is tender.

Cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Reserve 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta water before you drain it. Put the pasta in your serving bowl. Add the potato mixture, at least 1/4 of the pasta water, half of the cheese and parsley, and toss. Add more water if you feel like it could use it. Season with salt and pepper and top with the remainder of the cheese and parsley. Serve with the arugula or mix it in if you so choose.

 

3 comments

  1. Sara Kuhlman

    Adding arugula (something I need to learn to say – I’ve always known it as rocket!) is something I always do!! It absolutely love it in pasta, in abundance! Also, speaking of starch nightmares, there is a thing in England called a “chip butty.” So, thick cut fries between two slices of bread, with mayo. Gross, but totally a thing. Did you come across it while you were in the UK??

    • Michelle

      I always forget rocket is the same as arugula. Some of the restaurants will use it in their menus here just to sound fancy. It’s funny. I have heard of the chip butty, but never actually had one. I think if you subbed the mayo for a mess of gravy, I might be tempted to eat it. But I’d eat just about anything smothered in gravy…

  2. Eileen

    I’ve definitely heard of cutting up lasagna sheets to make your own noodles before–it doesn’t seem weird at all. :) And pasta with potatoes sounds like exactly the best kind of meal for a cold, grey winter night.

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