Creamy Fettuccine with Peas (5/52)

I didn’t forget you;  I really didn’t.  Today’s– or in reality, yesterday’s– recipe has been constantly changing in my mind and on my calendar for the better part of the last  three weeks.  I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do, and when I did actually make something and document it, it wasn’t good enough to share.

I’m still cringing from the atrocity that is my strawberry vinaigrette from last spring; you know, the one that I shared against my better judgment.  Not doing that again.  Therefore, you won’t be seeing sausage stuffed pretzel bites, beer cheese sauce, or ginger-lemon granita.  No, by golly, those will never see the light of day here, and I wish– oh, how I wish– they had never seen the light of day in my kitchen.

On the verge of giving up, I made one last go of it yesterday when I attempted an adaptation of Ina Garten’s Straw and Hay recipe from her new cookbook Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof.  The recipe as is calls for making a gorgonzola cream sauce, which sounded a little too pungent for me, especially since I was fresh from the disastrous beer cheese sauce that I can still taste if I think too hard about it.  That said, I opted to use cream cheese instead and augment the onions and peas with some mushrooms that I was afraid may end up  languishing in the back of the refrigerator if I didn’t use them while I still remembered they existed.

The result: delicious and filling.  I really think using the fresh pasta makes a difference in this dish, and while I usually don’t roll that way, I’d really recommend using it here.

Please forgive the photos.  I seem to be having issues with flickr today, but as soon as I get those issues resolved, I’ll replace these with some larger ones.  Fixed.  Now you can see them in all of their hasty glory.

Creamy Fettuccine and Peas

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Recipe for ‘Straw and Hay with Gorgonzola’ (156) in Barefoot Contessa Foolproof (Clarkson Potter: New York, 2012)

Ingredients:

3 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced

3 Tbsp. butter, divided

1/3 cup diced yellow onion (half of a medium-sized onion)

3 small Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup heavy cream

4 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes and brought to room temperature

8 cups water

1 pkg. (9 oz.) fresh fettuccine (I used Buitoni brand)

8 oz. frozen peas

Salt

Pepper

Parsley, chopped (optional)

1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Directions:

Gather all of your ingredients together.

This is especially important for this particular recipe because it comes together really quickly.  Use this time to prep the vegetables and set up the pot of water in which you’ll boil the pasta.

Roll thinly sliced prosciutto into a log and cut the log into ¼ inch pieces.

In a large skillet (mine was 10-inches) over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and then add the prosciutto,

cooking for about 5 minutes or until the prosciutto is crispy.  Remove the prosciutto to a paper towel.

In the same skillet still over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

Add the diced onions and sliced mushrooms to the butter, cooking until tender.  Then add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, being careful to keep the garlic from burning.

Add the heavy cream and the creamy cheese, stirring until the cheese in melted and the sauce thickens.

While the onions and mushrooms are cooking, bring the 8 cups of water with a generous dash of salt to a boil in a large pot.  Boil the fresh pasta according to package directions.  Mine boiled for 4 minutes.  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

Put the peas in the bottom of a colander;

drain the pasta (minus the reserved water) over the peas.

Stir the cooked prosciutto,

pasta and peas into the sauce.

Add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too thick.  I added back about a half of a cup.

Season the pasta with some salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with chopped parsley and toasted chopped pecans, if desired.  I liked the crunch that the pecans provided, and they melded well with the saltiness of the prosciutto.

Yield: 6-8 servings

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