This dish made me happy for a number of reasons. It has a whimsical name: paglia e fieno, which means “straw and hay” in Italian. It let me try my hand at making green(!) pasta for the first time, which was accomplished simply by mixing 1/4 cup of puréed arugula to my regular pasta recipe. It let me learn about the existence of gorgonzola dolce, a sweet and milder version of that lovable (albeit pungent) cheese. And finally, this dish thrilled me because within one bite, it had soared to the top of Gabe’s favorite recipe list.
As I was tasting the pasta and adjusting the final seasonings, I declared blissfully, “Oh! This is company food!” Of course, that prompted Gabe to ask concernedly, “Does that mean you sometimes serve me food you wouldn’t serve to company?”
Of course not, darling.
I always aspire to make delicious food, but there are those dishes that aim to impress, and this one is something special.
Paglia e Fieno
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided
- 4 oz. prosciutto, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 oz. gorgonzola dolce, crumbled
- 8-10 oz. fresh fettucine or tagliatelle*
- 2 cups (about 8 oz.) frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Melt 1 Tbs. butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add prosciutto and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel-covered plate. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. of butter in the same pan, and sauté onion for 5-6 minutes, or until soft. Stir in garlic and cook one minute. Add milk and gorgonzola and stir until the cheese has melted. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
As soon as you reduce the sauce to a simmer, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Drain pasta and add to pan with thickened gorgonzola sauce. Stir in prosciutto, peas, parmesan, salt, and pepper, and serve.
* The name of this dish derives from the colors of pasta traditionally used: green and yellow. Any type of noodle will work well here, but fresh is always best.
Source: Slightly adapted from Foolproof by Barefoot Contessa.
Nutrition facts (per serving): 390 calories, 17.5 g fat, 37.8 g carbs, 2.8 g fiber, 20.1 g protein.