June 26, 2006

Bowtie Pasta Parmesan With Prosciutto And Sun-Dried Tomatoes

My culinary skills produce more misses than hits, but occasionally I make something that is worth passing on. Please do not ask me about the sole meunière of a few weeks back. $35 dollars worth of fish and half of it wasted. But cooking fish requires delicacy, and I don't do anything delicately. (Well, not unless you ask nicely.)

Rather, I prefer to cook dishes that can be mixed up with a sauce, and served with a big spoon. Like the following one, which is based on a recipe from Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cook: Home Collection.

-¼ cup olive oil
-one 12 oz. package of bowtie pasta (aka farfalle)
-one large yellow onion, sliced or chopped, whichever you prefer
-about two thirds of a package of regular mushrooms, pre-sliced (what is that, two cups?)
-half a cup or more of julienned sun-dried tomatoes
-two cloves of garlic, minced
-4 oz. of prosciutto slices
-1¼ cup of Silk or some other plain soy milk
-one cup grated parmesan, or as I like to call it "Farmer John" cheese
-one to two teaspoons of capers
Start boiling the water for the pasta. You all know how to make pasta. I would subtract a minute or so from the cooking time to keep it just al dente, because the pasta will continue to cook after you drain the water and mix it with the sauce. You don't want the pasta to get too soft.

While the pasta water is heating, prepare the sauce. In a large pan, heat the olive oil until a tiny chunk of onion fries immediately when you throw it in. Turn down to medium heat. Then throw the sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and the sliced or chopped onion in there. I like chopped onion because sliced onions remind me too much of earthworms after they're cooked.

Fry that stuff until the onions get browned. Be careful with the sun-dried tomatoes, which burn easily. Adjust the heat accordingly. This should take about 2 minutes. Then add the soy milk and the capers. Bring the sauce to a simmer, about another two or three minutes. Then fold in the parmesan cheese. Turn off the heat and cover the pan while you finish with the pasta.

When the pasta is ready, drain it. Then chop the prosciutto slices roughly crosswise into one inch wide pieces. Throw them in the sauce, then pour the sauce immediately over the pasta. Mix the whole thing and transfer to a serving bowl.

There you have it. Simple and fast. The prosciutto goes in last so it will retain some of its color, but eventually the red cooks away. Especially after microwaving the next day, but it still tastes good. Soy milk is a pretty good substitute for the heavy cream called for in the original recipe. I suggest a fresh sourdough baguette and a glass of merlot to go with this meal.

Posted by: annika at 01:51 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 "I like chopped onion because sliced onions remind me too much of earthworms after they're cooked." Huh - you've cooked earthworms?

Posted by: OS at June 26, 2006 08:23 PM (KEZPK)

2 Did you top that off with pudding pops?

Posted by: Casca at June 26, 2006 10:11 PM (2gORp)

3 Next time you try sole meunière try adding a little vegetable oil to the butter. Butter has a pretty low burning point and a little vegetable oil helps raise hat point. Why'd you sub soy milk for the cream? It seems the sauce wouldn't be as thick and creamy w/o the fat.

Posted by: Victor at June 27, 2006 02:22 AM (l+W8Z)

4 I make lots of pasta dishes. But I would never add a whole onion to one, Onion is such a powerful flavor it can drown out all the others. I like making red sauces with a little sour cream in them, as well as either mozzerella or parmisian. and just for variety I might add gruyere. For a lite dish try using ground turkey, or turkey sausages.

Posted by: kyle8 at June 27, 2006 03:17 AM (FGbd8)

5 The vegetable oil w/ butter idea is one i'd heard of but i totally forgot about it that time. Dang. I substituted soy milk because it's healthier and i always have some on hand. It works fine. I think a yellow onion is mild enough for this sauce. I always substitute ground turkey for my red pasta sauces. I've made a gorgonzola sauce dish with arugula, which i got out of a newspaper. that was really nice. I should try gruyere someday, that sounds good.

Posted by: annika at June 27, 2006 06:22 AM (fxTDF)

6 Now is the time when I go off with my, "Fat is a necessary nutrient in moderation, or when you want something to taste good," rant...but since I'm a guest here I won't.

Posted by: Victor at June 27, 2006 10:03 AM (L3qPK)

7 Third year already? Bored to death? Go to law school; learn to cook.

Posted by: shelly at June 27, 2006 12:45 PM (BJYNn)

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