CLASSIC pasta bucatini with mushrooms, fresh peas, and prosciutto








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This  is a wonderful spring (fresh peas) pasta dish that uses the wonderful qualities of bucatini to their best. It is adapted from the cook-book super star Lidia Bastianich's recipe in her "Lidia's Italian Kitchen" cook book.

for the sauce:

  • four garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • five tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • one pound fresh mushrooms: shitake, chanterelles or crimini preferred
  • two ounces of fresh prosciutto, sliced and chopped
  • one cup fresh peas (or frozen if you aren't lucky enough to have fresh available)
  • two cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, roughly chopped, with their juices
  • one quarter cup fresh Italian parsley
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • one-half cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

for the pasta:

  • one pound bucatini

If using fresh peas parboil them for about two minutes -- not soft, but just to get a touch of the hardness out of the way. Slice the mushrooms into thin slices.

Put the olive oil into a saute pan, add the garlic, over medium heat until it just starts to sizzle. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring, until the prosciutto just starts to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, some salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about five minutes. Set aside.

Add the tomatoes, stir well, bring to a boil and them simmer for about five minutes. At the four minute mark, about, add the peas and the chopped parsley. Stir.

Get five quarts of water up to a raging boil.  Add two tablespoons of salt. Add the bucatini. Cook until al dente. Reserve one cup of the pasta liquid. Then drain.

Add the pasta to the re-heated pasta. Add a tablespoon of butter. Stir well. Add the parmesan. Add the reserved pasta liquid as necessary to keep moist. Cover the pan and turn the heat to high. Steam for one minute; the pasta will now be steaming hot. Serve on warmed plates.



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