I love prosciutto. No, I mean, I laaaaaave prosciutto. It’s one of my favorite foods; I could eat it every day, and growing up, it was always my favorite snack. As far as charcuterie is concerned, prosciutto reigns supreme, salty and delicate, craved and savored by many, in and out of Italy…a prosciutto-palooza, if you will. I opened the fridge today for lunch, uninspired by anything I saw, and no, I didn’t want salad. And there it was, a thick, rounded chunk of prosciutto with artistically marbled fat and homemade by my Papa.
When I lived with my Zia Concetta, I quickly learned the art of impromptu lunch – ‘rushed’ preparation resulting from hours of shopping at the market, yet always followed by an indulgent afternoon nap. One of my favorites is diced prosciutto and pasta. The minute I started cooking this, the aromas alone took me back to my aunt’s kitchen table, and with the first bite, I am flooded with memories of my Italy.
BUCATINI CON PROSCIUTTO serves 2-4
1/2 lb. bucatini pasta
1/2 cup cubed prosciutto crudo, small
1/2 cup finely minced white onion
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 – 6 basil leaves, chiffonade
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce (homemade is best)
freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese (optional)
Boil water to cook the bucatini pasta; they typically take around 7 minutes for ‘al dente.’ Remember to salt the water (only after the water boils). In a large skillet heated on High, add the prosciutto, and once the fat starts to melt a little, add the onion. Saute for a couple of minutes, reduce heat to Medium. Add the olive oil, and cook for a few minutes before adding the tomato sauce. Simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Add basil chiffonade and mix thoroughly. Serve immediately and add freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano or Fontina cheeses, or whatever grated ‘formaggio’ you prefer. This recipe is easy to double and even triple for a larger group. Buon Apetito!