California Central Coast Recipes
Fettuccine with Tomato and Prosciutto Ribbons
This is a fantastic recipe! Ė though itís deceptively simple and a jiffy to make, it packs a big taste. The trick is to keep the sauce ingredients in large enough pieces so the flavors blend, but not mask each other. I recommend keeping the ingredients in house all the time for those days when youíre running late but want a good flavor- filled meal.
Even though this is not a true ragu, it approximates some of the flavors and taste satisfaction of its more complex cousin. All you need to accompany this is a nice spinach or mixed greens salad and wine
Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 15 minutes
6 oz. Prosciutto thinly sliced , cut in ribbons about the width of the pasta.
4 cups Ripe Tomatoes , seeded and coarsely chopped (or canned tomatoes if good fresh tomatoes are not in season)
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Black Pepper , freshly cracked
Salt to taste
Parmesan Cheese , grated
1 pound Fettuccine Pasta
1 If you are using fresh tomatoes, seed them first to remove the bitter taste of the seeds. (Optionally you can first peel the tomatoes, but I find this step is usually not necessary with the varieties of tomatoes grown locally).
2 Coarsely chop the tomatoes - you want to retain some of the "chunkiness."
3 In a large stainless steel sauce pan or Dutch oven, add the butter and olive oil to the pot and cook over Medium-Low heat until the butter has melted and starts to foam.
4 Add the separated Prosciutto ribbons to the butter and oil and cook a few minutes - just until the Prosciutto loses it's deep red color and becomes fragrant.
5 Stir in the tomatoes to the Prosciutto mixture, and crack a few grinds of black pepper to taste into the sauce. Reduce the heat to Low and simmer the sauce for ten to fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is becoming too thick, add a bit of water or white wine to desired consistency. If the sauce is too thin, add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.
6 Taste, and add salt only if needed - Prosciutto is naturally salty, as is the Parmesan (which I prefer in place of salt.)
7 In the meantime, cook the fettuccine as directed on the pasta package. Drain the pasta and add it to the cooked sauce.
8 Toss the pasta with the sauce to mix well. The pasta should be lightly covered with the sauce - not drowning in a tomato lake! You can serve it immediately, or optional cover and let it sit for a few minutes to let the pasta absorb the flavors of the sauce.
9 Serve on warm dinner plates. Be sure to top each with Parmesan Cheese and have more Parmesan cheese available on the table.
Wine suggestion: A Red Zinfandel will stand up to this dish.