Wednesday, June 5, 2013

prosciutto, tomato & olive pasta

Pasta really has to be one of the easiest dishes to manipulate. Pasta and pizza. So easy to change up, spice up, tone down or enhance. Just a few simple ingredients can change the whole profile of a dish. This particular pasta dish I found at Tartine and Apron Springs, a dish that she developed after a trip to Northern Italy. Her pictures made it look so good, I knew I wanted to try it out.
The whole basis of this dish is the sauce, slow developed flavors that enhance each other. Her recipe called for shallots, but I used a small sweet onion.
A word of advice here- get kalamata olives, not canned black olives. You want that salty, briny and tart flavor you get in a kalamata. Trust me.
Throw in your sliced cherry or grape tomatoes. You can used diced whole tomatoes as well, which is what her version calls for.
A few minutes later, when it's cooked down, add your wine, and let the alcohol cook off.
The only steps left are to add the tomato paste, butter, cooked noodles and stir it all together. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl, or portion it out into individual dishes. Lay the pieces of room temperature prosciutto on top and the residual heat from the pasta will make it warm and delicious. Only thing you need is parmesan cheese. I went with some feta because we had some left, but go with what you like. Some salty cheese to finish.
Prosciutto, Tomato & Olive Pasta
1/2 lb dried spaghetti
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
1 small sweet onion, minced
1 cup sliced kalamata olives
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 lb proscuitto, room temperature
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

In a large stock pot, prepare dried spaghetti according to package. Drain, but reserve some pasta water and keep warm. Using the same pot, bring olive oil to temperature over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add kalamata olives and warm through. Add cherry tomatoes and allow to cook for another 3-5 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add white wine and let alcohol cook off. Add in tomato paste and butter, stirring to combine. Add in pasta, stir. If pasta seems dry, add in some reserved pasta water. Transfer combined pasta and sauce to a serving dish and top with strips of proscuitto and cheese. Enjoy!