Pro­sciutto & Cherry Toma­toes with Linguine

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - BOOKS -

I love a sauce that can be rus­tled up in the time it takes to cook the pasta. In this recipe the key is good qual­ity pro­sciutto and sweet, flavour­ful cherry toma­toes. As the sauce de­vel­ops, the flavour of the pro­sciutto per­fumes the un­salted but­ter and this in turn flavours the toma­toes. The nut­ti­ness of the parme­san adds the fi­nal flour­ish. If you are merely fa­mil­iar with su­per­mar­ket pack­ets of pro­sciutto, you are in for a glo­ri­ous sur­prise when you ask for it to be freshly sliced. The dif­fer­ence in taste and tex­ture is re­mark­able. Ask for it to be cut only slightly thicker than pa­per-thin and, if pos­si­ble, to be lay­ered be­tween wax or cheese pa­per rather than cling­film. You will thank your­self with ev­ery mouth­ful.

SERVES 4 150g pro­sciutto slices, sliced slightly thicker than pa­per thin (about 8-10 slices) 80g un­salted but­ter 2 shal­lots, diced finely 2 red chill­ies, de­seeded and finely chopped 400g cherry toma­toes, halved Pinch of dried chilli flakes, op­tional 400g linguine 15 basil leaves Parme­san, freshly grated

1. Bring a large pot of wa­ter to the boil. For 4 litres of wa­ter, add about 1½ level ta­ble­spoons of salt. Slice the pro­sciutto cross­wise into strips about 1cm in width or less. Cut each slice separately rather than stack­ing them to­gether. Al­low the strips to dry out on the board.

2. Heat two thirds of the but­ter in a medium-sized fry­ing pan. Add the shal­lots and chill­ies and cook for about 30 sec­onds. Add the strips of pro­sciutto, cook gently for about 20 sec­onds and then add the cherry toma­toes to the pan. Add in a pinch of dried chilli flakes if you wish. Sim­mer gently to al­low the toma­toes to soften.

3. Mean­while, put the pasta in the boil­ing wa­ter and cook un­til al dente. Drain, re­serv­ing some of the pasta wa­ter and re­turn the pasta to the pot along with the re­main­ing but­ter. Pour over the pro­sciutto and tomato mix­ture and toss to­gether, adding a good splash of pasta wa­ter. The wa­ter and but­ter will form an emul­sion which will in turn coat the pasta. Chop the basil and mix in along with a fist­ful or two of Parme­san. The pasta should not look dry and may need an­other dash of pasta wa­ter. Serve sprin­kled with ex­tra cheese.


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