Wednesday, May 8, 2013

5/7/13 ChefElla's Lemon Pasta With Asparagus & Prosciutto


There are so many good tasting foods. Chocolate, fresh bread, pizza, cookies, cake, and of course bacon. While all of these foods taste wonderful and while they are fun to eat, eating too much of them is not good for you. Adding just a little of these good tasting foods in with your healthy recipes can give your meals extra flavor. Because I like bacon I thought it would be fun to add some to my pasta, and since pasta is Italian I thought I would find some Italian bacon. While prosciutto is not exactly bacon it can add the same great flavor of bacon to sandwiches, pizza, salads, and pasta. Prosciutto is a dry cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked.

For this recipe you will need to use the stove and a knife. If you are not allowed to use the stove or a knife by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring cups, a rubber spatula, a small bowl, a mixing bowl, a blender, strainer, slotted spoon, sauce pan and sauté pan.

Ingredients: (This recipe will make 8 servings.)
3 Cups Whole Grain or Whole Wheat Penne Pasta un-cooked.
1/2 lb. Prosciutto Ham, 1/4 inch thick sliced. This should be about two slices.
1 lb. Asparagus Spears
1/4 Cup Red Onion, Small Diced
2 ea Garlic Cloves, smashed, or 2 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Flat leaf parsley
Garnish Parmesan or Feta Cheese

3. Fill sauce pan 3/4 full with water and put on stove. Turn pan on high heat. When the water comes to a boil add pasta and cook for the manufacturers recommended amount of time. If the water begins to foam just add a little olive oil and the foam will go away. When the pasta is finished pour into a strainer over the sink. When the water is drained off put the pasta in your large mixing bowl.
-If you are saving the pasta for another time you can rinse the pasta with cold water and refrigerate or you can mix the pasta with a little oil and then refrigerate.
4. While the pasta is cooking slice your prosciutto into 1/4 inch wide strips.
5. Heat sauté pan on medium heat. Add prosciutto to the pan and cook slowly. The prosciutto will turn crispy like bacon.
6. Remove the prosciutto to a plate with a slotted spoon and leaving the remaining fat in the pan.
7. Return the pan to the heat and add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes but do not brown.
8. Add lemon juice, olive oil and flat leaf parsley to your blender. Using your rubber spatula transfer onions and garlic to the blender. Scrape any left over oil into the blender also. Blend the mixture until it is smooth and there are no large pieces or chunks left.
9. Fill your sauce pan 1/2 way with water, put on the stove and turn the heat to high. Cut your asparagus spears the same length as your penne pasta.
10. Fill your small bowl with cold water and ice.
11. When the water boils add the asparagus pieces and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour the asparagus in the pasta strainer over the sink. When drained put the asparagus in the ice bath. This will stop the cooking and turn the asparagus bright green. This cooking method is called blanching(the hot water) and shocking(putting the food in the ice water).
12. When the asparagus is cold drain in the strainer.
13. Mix sauce with the pasta and then add asparagus and prosciutto and mix. Serve in bowls and top with cheese.


- ChefElla

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