Prosciutto and peas are a great combination, often combined with heavy cream or butter. Today, however, I wanted to pair them with something green and make a lighter, more summery dish with only a touch of butter.
I was inspired by the rainbow swiss chard at my local farm stand. The beauty of swiss chard is that you can eat the entire stalk–leaves and stems. The other beautfiul thing about swiss chard is that it freezes beautifully (after blanching)–I can’t say the same about many vegetables. For this dish, I’m using only the leaves, stripped from the stems and sliced into ribbons, however I’ve cleaned and chopped the stems for later use in a frittata or soup.
Unlike spinach, which may be tossed into a pasta sauce raw, swiss chard must be boiled–not just blanched, but boiled for at least five minutes. There is a certain bitterness that must be boiled out of those leaves in order to enjoy the sweet green underlying flavor.
The rest of the dish goes quickly–sliced prosciutto, peas, and a touch of finely chopped onion. In addition, for that certain depth of flavor, I’ve added white wine, butter and chicken broth. This combination makes for a luscious sauce that is in part, absorbed by the pasta.
Pasta with Swiss Chard, Prosciutto and Peas
1 lb fettucine
4 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced, then cut crosswise into 1/2″ ribbons
2 c fresh or frozen peas
1 – 1/2 lbs swiss chard, leaves only, cut into 1/2″ ribbons, boiled for 5 minutes, then drained and squeezed
1/4 onion, finely minced
4 tbls olive oil
2 tbls butter
1/2 c white wine
1 c chicken broth
2 tbls fresh chopped parsley
grated parmiggiano for sprinkling at the table
While pasta is boiling, in a broad skillet, saute onion in oil until translucent. Add the prosciutto and swiss chard and saute on medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes
Add in peas and white wine and cook until wine evaporates. Add broth and peas and continue cooking on low until pasta is ready. Add pasta to the skillet, along with 1/2 cup cooking water, the chopped parsley and butter. Saute on high heat for 30 seconds or until all is combined.