BUCATINI, PEAS AND PROSCIUTTO

THIS IS A NEW AND IMPROVED VERSION OF A SIMILAR RECIPE I POSTED A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO.  BUCATINI REPLACES CORKSCREW PASTA.  I'VE ADDED LEMON ZEST AND FRESH RICOTTA.  THE TECHNIQUE IS SIMILAR BUT I PREFER THIS RECIPE BECAUSE THE RICOTTA ADDS A CREAMINESS TO THE SAUCE AND IS AN EXCELLENT FOIL FOR THE LEMON ZEST. YOU CAN MAKE THIS PASTA WITH FROZEN PEAS, BUT WHY WHEN THERE ARE FRESH ENGLISH PEAS IN THE FARMERS MARKET AND YOU'VE GOT A FIVE-YEAR-OLD WHO LOVES TO SHELL THEM?  

 2 cups SHELLED ENGLISH PEAS
 6 oz PROSCIUTTO OR SERRANO HAM
 ZEST OF 1 LEMON PLUS JUICE
 1 cup FRESH RICOTTA
 1 cup FRESHLY-GRATED PARMESAN
 1 PACKAGE OF IMPORTED BUCATINI
 FRESH CHIVES

1

SET A LARGE POT OF WATER ON TO BOIL. SALT GENEROUSLY.

SHELL THE PEAS. YOU SHOULD HAVE AROUND 2 CUPS.

ROLL UP THE PROSCIUTTO LIKE A CARPET AND CUT CROSSWISE IN 1/4-INCH STRIPS.

REMOVE THE LEMON ZEST WITH A FINE GRATER OR A MICROPLANE. SQUEEZE THE LEMON THROUGH A STRAINER INTO A BOWL.

GRATE ABOUT 1 CUP OF PARMESAN CHEESE.

PUT IN THE BUCATINI AND BOIL TILL IT'S AL DENTE. SCOOP OUT A CUP OF PASTA WATER TOWARDS THE END OF THE COOKING. SET ASIDE.

DRAIN THE PASTA AND RETURN THE POT TO THE STOVE ON A MEDIUM LOW FLAME.

ADD A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL AND ABOUT 4 TBSPS OF BUTTER. WHEN THE BUTTER MELTS TOSS IN THE PROSCIUTTO. STIR FOR 30 SECONDS.

TOSS IN THE PEAS, 1/2 CUP OF PASTA WATER, LEMON JUICE, LEMON ZEST, 1 CUP OF RICOTTA, AND FINALLY, THE BUCATINI.

SEASON WITH A PINCH OF SALT AND A GENEROUS GRINDING OF PEPPER.

STIR VIGOROUSLY. THE LIQUID WILL BEGIN TO EVAPORATE AND THE SAUCE THICKEN. ADD 1/2 CUP OF PARMESAN AND CONTINUE STIRRING UNTIL THE PASTA ACHIEVES A CREAMY CONSISTENCY. IF IT GETS TOO DRY ADD A BIT MORE PASTA WATER.

EMPTY INTO A WARM SERVING BOWL AND SCATTER WITH CHOPPED CHIVES.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

 2 cups SHELLED ENGLISH PEAS
 6 oz PROSCIUTTO OR SERRANO HAM
 ZEST OF 1 LEMON PLUS JUICE
 1 cup FRESH RICOTTA
 1 cup FRESHLY-GRATED PARMESAN
 1 PACKAGE OF IMPORTED BUCATINI
 FRESH CHIVES

Directions

1

SET A LARGE POT OF WATER ON TO BOIL. SALT GENEROUSLY.

SHELL THE PEAS. YOU SHOULD HAVE AROUND 2 CUPS.

ROLL UP THE PROSCIUTTO LIKE A CARPET AND CUT CROSSWISE IN 1/4-INCH STRIPS.

REMOVE THE LEMON ZEST WITH A FINE GRATER OR A MICROPLANE. SQUEEZE THE LEMON THROUGH A STRAINER INTO A BOWL.

GRATE ABOUT 1 CUP OF PARMESAN CHEESE.

PUT IN THE BUCATINI AND BOIL TILL IT'S AL DENTE. SCOOP OUT A CUP OF PASTA WATER TOWARDS THE END OF THE COOKING. SET ASIDE.

DRAIN THE PASTA AND RETURN THE POT TO THE STOVE ON A MEDIUM LOW FLAME.

ADD A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL AND ABOUT 4 TBSPS OF BUTTER. WHEN THE BUTTER MELTS TOSS IN THE PROSCIUTTO. STIR FOR 30 SECONDS.

TOSS IN THE PEAS, 1/2 CUP OF PASTA WATER, LEMON JUICE, LEMON ZEST, 1 CUP OF RICOTTA, AND FINALLY, THE BUCATINI.

SEASON WITH A PINCH OF SALT AND A GENEROUS GRINDING OF PEPPER.

STIR VIGOROUSLY. THE LIQUID WILL BEGIN TO EVAPORATE AND THE SAUCE THICKEN. ADD 1/2 CUP OF PARMESAN AND CONTINUE STIRRING UNTIL THE PASTA ACHIEVES A CREAMY CONSISTENCY. IF IT GETS TOO DRY ADD A BIT MORE PASTA WATER.

EMPTY INTO A WARM SERVING BOWL AND SCATTER WITH CHOPPED CHIVES.

SERVES 4

BUCATINI, PEAS AND PROSCIUTTO
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