Paglia e Fieno Coi Piselli (Yellow and Green Fettuccine With Peas, Prosciutto, and Cream)

Paglia e Fieno Coi Piselli (Yellow and Green Fettuccine With Peas, Prosciutto, and Cream)

'The yellow and green noodles for this dish are called paglia e fieno, which means "straw and hay." In this version, peas and prosciutto provide a contrast of sweet and savory flavors,' writes Giuliano Hazan.

3/4 lb. fresh shelled peas or a 10-ounce package of frozen tiny peas, thawed

1 lb. yellow and green egg fettuccine

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion

4 ounces prosciutto (or pancetta), cut into thin strips from a 1/4-inch thick slice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

If using fresh peas, cook them in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and set aside. For the pasta, pour 4 quarts of water into a large saucepan and place over high heat.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, and cook until it has softened and turned a rich golden color. Add the prosciutto and continue cooking, stirring until it has lost its raw color, 1 to 2 minutes.

Raise the heat to medium-high, and add the cooked fresh peas or the thawed frozen ones. Season lightly with salt and black pepper (the prosciutto is already salty), and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the cream and cook, stirring frequently, until it has reduced by half. Remove the skillet from the heat, and set aside.

When the water for the pasta is boiling and the sauce is off the heat, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water and drop in the pasta all at once, stirring well.

When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and toss it with the sauce, adding the grated cheese. Taste for salt and serve at once. Serves 6.

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