Lazy Person's Creamy Prosciutto
Cotto Arrosto Pasta
Story/recipe and photographs by Tom Weber
Let's have a show of hands from those of you who like
Now, let's take that cooked ham, add a few herbs and
roast it. Like it even more?
The reason why I'm asking is because the cooked and
roasted Italian ham - Prosciutto Cotto Arrosto - is a key ingredient
in this Lazy Person recipe that's sure to provide you
with a "fork full of Heaven" in each and every bite. And even
better than its heavenly taste, this recipe takes less than 15-minutes
to prepare, plate and get underway.
Now how LAZY is that?
We call this culinary quickie the Lazy Person's
Creamy Prosciutto Cotto Arrosto Pasta - LPCPCAP
for short. It's a pasta in bianco - white pasta, no tomato sauce.
Now, a Lazy Person recipe wouldn't be
complete without an historical footnote, or, in the case of the LPCPCAP,
an historical THIGH note. And I'll sneak it in here, and then on to
Let me just put on my cap and gown first. AHEM!
Prosciutto comes from the Latin word perexsuctum,
meaning prosciugato in Italian ("dried thoroughly,"
or "deprived of all liquid").
Prosciutto has been around in Italy since at
least the Roman Republic (4-3 BC) and may have been introduced earlier
by the Etruscans (8-5 BC), that marvelous tribe that tamed the earth
under the sun that we've come to love today, Tuscany.
There are two basic preparation methods. First, Prosciutto
Crudo, air-cured ham that's bathed in salt, pepper, pork fat and,
sometimes, herbs and sugar, then hung out to dry for up to 16-months.
Second, Prosciutto Cotto, boiled ham, which can be further coated
with aromatic herbs and then roasted, becoming Prosciutto Cotto Arrosto,
and that's where we're headed.
Okay. That's the quick Prosciutto primer. Now
we can head into the kitchen. Drum roll, please.
Lazy Person's Creamy Prosciutto Cotto Arrosto
Ingredients (per person)
- 90-100 gr (3.0-3.5 oz) of Sedani Rigate or
Penne Rigate dried semolina pasta
- 2 large thin slices (40 gr/1.4 oz) of Prosciutto
- 60 ml (1/3 cup) of Heavy Cream
- 44 gr (3 tablespoons) of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
or Grana Padano cheese
- 5 gr (1 teaspoon) freshly ground (medium coarseness)
- 1 Medium-size pot of Boiling Water
- 1 heaping tablespoon of salt
Cooking and Prep Time: 12-15 min. (not including
time to boil the water)
Step-1: Fill the pot with water, cover, set burner
on HIGH and begin the boiling process
Step-2: While waiting for the water to boil,
weigh the pasta.
Step-3: Measure the cream and grate the cheese
Step-4: Cut the ham into bite-size pieces
Step-5: As the water comes to a roaring boil,
uncover, add the salt, drop the pasta down, stir vigorously and then
Step-6: You've now got 10-min. to kill. So, set
the table, uncork the wine and unleash some Andrea Bocelli around
the house to sweep you away to the Bel Paese while you wait.
Step-7: At the 9-min. mark of the cooking pasta,
remove a piece and check its al dente status. The pasta needs
to be firm, but not hard. Continue taking samples until its just right.
Step-8: Drain the pasta and reintroduce it into
the now empty pot. Turn the burner up to MEDIUM-HIGH, add the cream
and begin stirring vigorously.
Step-9: Right on the heels of Step-8 add the
grated cheese and continue stirring.
Step-10: On the heels of Step-9 add the pieces
of ham and continue stirring until the cream has reduced to a slightly
thick-not-runny consistency (about 1.5-2 min. from the start of Step-8).
Step-11: Remove from heat, plate the pasta, add
freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Wine Pairing: Bardolino Chiaretto DOC
- Cantina di Soave (VR), Italy - A rosé with a fruity bouquet,
including raspberry and pomegranate. Well-balanced, it has a fine crispness
and fragrance. The palate is harmonious with slightly bitter nuances.
Due to its light character, it marries well with light foods, cheeses
and pasta dishes, like the LPCPCAP. Enjoy at 10-12 °C
Not too shabby for someone who really doesn't have much
of a clue around the kitchen and is just plain LAZY, right?
Now it's your turn. Have fun. Don't panic. And, most
importantly, Buon Appetito!