Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tagliatelle with peas and Parma Ham

600g Tagliatelle
200g fresh peas, podded weight
50ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 garlic clove, crushed
Handful of freshly chopped mint
Handful of freshly grated Parmesan
8 slices of parma ham or 200g soft goat’s milk cheese, crumbled
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to packet. Actually the recipe called for making your own, but I used store bought because I was in a hurry.

Bring a medium saucepan full of water to the boil. Add the peas and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and plunge into iced water. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a low heat and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, then add the drained peas, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain the pasta and add to the pea mixture. Toss well then season to taste and add the chopped mint and a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle in the parmesan, and drape over the parma ham or scatter with the goat’s cheese before serving.

This was from a book I just got called Angela Hartnett’s Cucina.

This was a really simple and lovely pasta dish. It was interesting to me because it used mint. I have not had a pasta dish that used mint before. I was wondering if it would be strangely like eating toothpaste, but it was not at all. The mint works beautifully with peas, and it winds up being a subtle background flavor. You don’t notice it right away, but then if you are told it’s there, it becomes obvious. This was Italian cooking at it’s best. Super simple, only a few ingredients, and only lightly cooked, but perfectly balanced, and ever so comforting.

This is a perfect dish if you’re in a hurry too, because you can make it in the time it takes to make the pasta. I am definitely going to try it again in the summer when the peas are fresh, I’m sure it will be at it’s best then.


Ruth Daniels said...

A lovely recipe and post. Have you thought of sharing it with Presto Pasta Nights? It's a roundup of great pasta recipes.

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