Thursday, April 05, 2007

Perciatelli in Spinach-Prosciutto Cream Sauce

I just learned this week that I will be able to meet Giada De Laurentiis at a book signing in Scottsdale, Arizona at Sur La Table in a few weeks. She is signing her new cook book, Everyday Pasta, and me and my two best girlfriends will get to meet her, try some recipes, participate in a Q&A and get our booked signed.

Sadly, Food Network has gone a bit too far into the non-cooking realm for me, and Giada's new travel show is just ok, but I just love her original Everyday Italian show, her authentic passion for food, how gosh-darn darling/sexy she is and that she is professionally trained so we can trust her recipes. Every recipe of hers I have ever made has been great. I can't wait to meet her.

So, in the pasta frame if mind, I tried a new pasta I found at the store this week. Perciatelli are long, fat tubes of pasta - like plump bucatini which to me is like overgrown spaghetti with a hole in the middle. Perciatelli are like macaroni that never got cut into pieces.

I served the pasta with a creamy spinach-prosciutto sauce that was at the same time smoky, earthy and luscious. Delicious with an oaky Chardonnay.

Perciatelli in Spinach-Prosciutto Cream Sauce:
(serves 4)

1/2 lb dried perciatelli, bucatini or other long strands of pasta
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 c heavy cream or half and half
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 large handful prosciutto, cut into ribbons
Olive oil as needed
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/4 c dry white wine
Grated Parmesan as needed

Bring large pot of water to boil, salt aggressively. Boil perciatelli until al dente, about 8-9 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Saute prosciutto until beginning to crisp, then add garlic and shallot. Saute until softened and fragrant. Add spinach and saute all ingredients together until dry. Add wine to deglaze pan, simmer until almost all moisture has evaporated. Add cream, salt and pepper and chili flake and bring back to a low simmer.

Once al dente, drain pasta except for 1/4 c pasta cooking water. Add pasta and water to saucepan with spinach-prosciutto-cream mixture and toss. Simmer while adjusting seasonings. Continue to simmer until mixture begins to thicken. Grate cheese over top and serve.


Chris said...

This recipe is beautiful! My greedy side would love to eat the whole thing, without sharing. But, let's chat about this meet and greet....OMG! That is the greatest thing. I love Giada's show, recipes, stories, etc. I hope you post about your experience!

Peabody said...

You mean there is a show where they cook on the Food Network. They have become MTV...I remember when MTV played music.

Kristen said...

Hey! I'm meeting her too... one week from Sunday at her book signing and then a cocktail/dessert hour afterwards. I'm pumped up about it!

Kirsten said...

Hi Chris! Thanks! I will post about meeting Giada. :)

Peabody - you are EXACTLY right. MTV was the case study for cult-favorite cable stations process of selling out and changing format to reach new audiences that are theoretically more profitable. Too bad. :(

Kristen - YAY! You are meeting her too!! Your event is first, so let me know how it goes!

Brilynn said...

I love that pasta shape, I just bought some!

I'm also receiving Giada's new book in the mail soon and am hoping it's really good!