I should tell you, before I go any further, that I received this book as a free review copy. That fact has not clouded my judgment, I swear. I receive many review copies that I never write about, and I only mention a recipe here if it’s a keeper. This one is.
The proper title for this dish is tagliatelle alla Romagnola, but since I didn’t use tagliatelle, I’m winging it, title-wise. I hope Mr. Hazan will forgive me. I used penne rigate, which was fine, although I’ll bet it would be even better with a long noodle – dried egg tagliatelle, ideally. I have written the recipe below for one serving, because I usually make it when I’m working at home alone and in need of a quick meal, but the recipe scales up very easily. The original recipe, as Mr. Hazan wrote it, serves four and uses four ounces of prosciutto, 4 four tablespoons of butter, and so on.
Fill a deep pot with water for the pasta. Salt the water well. Place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
Cut the prosciutto into narrow strips – about ¼ to ½ inch wide – and then cut the strips into short segments, each about 1 inch long. Warm the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the prosciutto, and season with a tiny pinch of kosher salt. Cook until the prosciutto has lost its raw color, but not long enough for it to brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
When the water boils, cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain it – but not too thoroughly; you want the noodles to still be coated with some moisture – and turn it into the skillet with the prosciutto. Toss. Grate a little Parmigiano-Reggiano on top, and toss again. Serve immediately, with more Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste.
Yield: 1 serving