This is a greener, less luxurious version of my neighbor Beppi’s famous pasta with white truffles. I’ve long discovered that adding a bit of chopped fresh greens like spinach or arugula to an otherwise deep and rich dish is a great way to lighten the dish, temper the richness, and make it brighter and prettier (presentation, after all, is important).
This dish is a perfect case in point. The original, from Beppi’s world class San Marco restaurant (NYC, circa 1960’s through 1990) was prepared tableside, and consisted of prosciutto, shallots and chopped mushrooms, sauteed in butter. Cooked pasta was added, and the dish was showered with a profusion of freshly shaved white truffles.
Although arugula is in no way a stand-in for truffles, it takes the dish in an entirely new direction–makes it bright and lemony, rather than deeper and earthier. The addition of arugula was enough of a variation for me to want to share it with you.
As a main course, I served Beppi’s Broiled Chicken Thighs with Rosemary and some sauteed broccoli di rapa with pine nuts and raisins.
Pasta with Prosciutto, Mushrooms and Arugula
1 lb fettucine or pappardelle
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, wiped and chopped into 1/2″ dice
1 large shallot, finely diced
4 oz. prosciutto, sliced thinly, then sliced crosswise into 1/2″ ribbons
1/2 stick (4 tbls) butter
1/2 c chicken broth
2 c arugula, chopped coarsely
2 tbls chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmigiano for sprinkling
while the pasta boils, in a large skillet on medium heat, saute the prosciutto and shallots in butter for a minute. Add mushrooms, and continue sauteing until the mushrooms have shed their liquid and have begun browning.
When pasta is about a minute shy of done, add broth to skillet and turn heat to high. Add pasta, parsley and arugula and toss for about a minute to combine.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with plenty of grated parmigiano.