No-chop meal: Pasta with Prosciutto Crudo

Pasta with prosciutto crudo, peas, and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Makes 4 servings

After playing around with a lot of dry-cured, European hams, this recipe has become one of those go-to lunches at our house.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced (or you can buy pre-minced garlic in a jar)
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto crudo, diced (can also be shredded or pulled ham)
  • 2 cups fresh shelled peas or frozen peas (no need to thaw)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound dry linguine or fettuccini, cooked and drained according to the package instructions
  • 3 ounces finely-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions:
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then swirl in the oil. Add the minced garlic and cook just until frizzling well at the edges, no more than 30 seconds.

  2. Toss in the shallot and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, until softened and very aromatic, no more than 2 minutes.

  3. Add the prosciutto crudo pieces and continue cooking and stirring until they're browned at the edges, about 2 minutes.

  4. Pour in the peas and continue cooking for 1 minute. Then pour in the broth and bring the sauce to a substantial simmer.

  5. Add the cooked pasta and toss well so that everything gets mixed up in the noodles.

  6. Sprinkle in the cheese and pepper. Toss just until the cheese melts and coats the noodles.
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Stewed mussels with jamón serrano, chickpeas, and saffron
Serves 2 but can be doubled or tripled, provided you've got a pot big enough

A big pot of mussels is dinner heaven! When Bruce first tested this recipe, we carted the pot to the coffee table, had a loaf of crunchy bread at the ready so as not to miss a drop of the sauce, and put on a movie.

OK, so a divine dinner had all the potential to be our carpet's damnation, but great rewards come from great risk.

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jarred roasted red pepper or pimiento, chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced jamón serrano, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons minced oregano or cilantro leaves
Directions:
  1. Mix the vinegar and saffron in a small bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.

  2. Heat a large pot over medium heat, then add the oil. Toss in the onion and red bell pepper or pimiento. Cook, stirring a lot, until the onion softens and gets translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds.

  3. Stir in the ham and chickpeas. Stir over the heat just until the ham pieces start to brown a bit, about 1 minute.

  4. Stir in the saffron and vinegar mixture, wait about 10 seconds, then pour in the mussels and dry sherry.

  5. Bring the whole thing to a simmer-then cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly until the mussel shells open, stirring once in a while, about 7 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open and stir in the oregano or cilantro leaves to serve.
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For more information, visit www.realfoodhascurves.com

About Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough:

Mark and Bruce are creators of The Ultimate Cook Book series of cookbooks for HarperCollins, which includes a 900-recipe compendium cookbook plus a 10-volume, single-subject companion series.

They have also penned six other cookbooks, including COOKING FOR TWO (Morrow, 2004), and are contributing editors and columnists for "Eating Well Magazine."

Weinstein and Scarbrough are featured columnists on www.weightwatchers.com ("Every Day Gourmet"), Today's Health and Wellness ("Five After Five") and they are guest columnists for "The Washington Post."

They are regular contributors to "Relish Magazine," often contributing to the column "The New American Farmer" and regular contributors to Cooking Light, often contributing to the column "Cooking Class" On-air "food column" once a week on the Dave Durian Show on WBAL-AM, Baltimore's biggest drive-time radio show.

Mark and Bruce have also made TV apperances on some nationally shows that include The Today Show, Weekend Today, The View, QVC, Fox and Friends, CBS This Morning ("Chef on a Shoestring"), CN8's "Your Morning" and Seasonings on PBS.

>> Buy this book on Amazon: Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter

Please join Mark & Bruce at a book signing
Thursday, April 29
Omnivore Books at 6 p.m.
3885 Cesar Chavez Street
San Francisco, CA 94131-2013
Phone: (415) 282-4712
Website: www.omnivorebooks.com

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