Pasta with peas and prosciutto

Pasta with peas and prosciutto

This pasta dish gets its color from peas and coolness from mint. Prosciutto adds flavor and some texture.

I used frozen peas for this. I also had some roasted garlic with olive oil in the freezer. This added richness, but is purely optional.

The peas and prosciutto alone can make a great side dish for any meal. Just used one 1/3 cup of olive oil and one clove of garlic, unless you love garlic.

Ingredients:

1- pound pasta- shorter shaped pastas or small shells work best.

1- pound frozen peas thawed

4 oz. prosciutto 1/4 inch diced or sliced into ribbons

Kosher salt or coarse sea salt

Coarse ground black pepper

2/3 cup olive oil

One large bay leaf- fresh or dried

2 large cloves garlic finely minced

Small pinch of red pepper flakes (Optional)

3/4 cup fresh mint leaves chopped

Directions:

Bring thawed peas to room temperature.

Bring prosciutto to room temperature.

Boil six quarts of water with two tbsp. salt.

Cook pasta in water according to package instructions for al dente.

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Heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add garlic, one bay leaf, a two finger pinch of salt and some coarse ground black pepper. Add pepper flakes if using.

Lower heat to lowest setting. The idea is to infuse flavor slowly.

Carefully add 1/4 cup of boiling pasta water.

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Add peas, mint, and  prosciutto and stir.

Remove from heat.

Drain pasta. Reserve some cooking liquid.

Place pasta in a large mixing bowl.

Add mixture of peas.

Mix thoroughly. Add some cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time if pasta is dry, mix and plate.

Top with grated or shaved Parmesan or other hard Italian cheese.

Top each plate with some of the peas.

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