Pasta With Prosciutto and Whole Cloves of Garlic (Sep. 12th, 2011)

from mark bittman’s how to cook everything; also located here.

Pasta With Prosciutto and Whole Cloves of Garlic (Maccheroni alla San Giovanniello)

Yield About 4 servings

Time About 30 minutes

Mark Bittman
Ingredients

* 1/3 cup olive oil or butter
* 10 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
* 1/2 cup prosciutto or other salted ham or slab bacon, cut into cubes or strips
* 6 plum tomatoes, or 11/2 cups drained canned tomatoes
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 1 pound cut pasta, such as ziti or penne
* 1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
* 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, or a combination

Method

* 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
* 2. Combine the oil, garlic, and ham in a medium to large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes deep golden, nearly brown, all over, 10 to 15 minutes.
* 3. Core and chop the plum tomatoes (or crush the canned tomatoes) and add them, along with salt and pepper, to the skillet. Stir and simmer while you salt the boiling water and cook the pasta.
* 4. Drain the pasta when it is tender but firm, reĀ¬serving a little of the cooking water and adding it to the sauce if it appears dry (quite likely if you used fresh tomatoes). Toss the pasta with the sauce and most of the basil, along with the cheese. Mince the remaining basil, garnish the pasta with it, and serve.

some notes:
– i used butter, and just 3 tablespoons. it seemed like plenty, perhaps since i also used bacon, which had enough fat on it to never get this thing close to drying out. i also chopped a couple mushrooms and tossed them in with the bacon and garlic.

this thing is garlic-tastic, and completely delicious. i planned on having it for lunch during the week, but i instantly needed a bowl of it for dinner. i’m in love!

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