The reason I gravitated to the dish like a groupie to a rock star, was because it sent me back to a trip through Italy. For some very strange reason, I remember eating a pasta just like this – with prosciutto and olives – during a family vacation to Sorrento in the Amalfi Coast (this is in the south, though). The little eatery was tucked in a quiet alley just off Via Fuoro and Corso Italia. The pasta was an eye-opener, because I thought, Wow! So, this is how they made it in Italy!
Prosciutto Tomato and Olive Spaghetti
The reason I gravitated to the dish like a groupie to a rock star, was because it sent me back to a trip through Italy. For some very strange reason, I remember eating a pasta just like this – with prosciutto and olives – during a family vacation
- 450 grams (1 pound) dried spaghetti
- 1.8 litres (8 cups) cold water
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 130 grams (~ 1 cup) black olives, pitted (I used Taggiasca from Italy)
- 3 to 4 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste or concentrate
- 42 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut up
- reserved pasta water (optional)
- 75 grams (2.5 oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- a handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 200 grams (less than 1/2 pound) prosciutto, preferably Parma or San Daniele, at room temerature
- In a large pot, bring 1.8 L (8 cups) of cold water to a boil. When it boils, add salt and pasta. Cook according to package instructions, stirring often to loosen up the sticky strands.
- Drain the cooked spaghetti, but save about 1 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.
- Wipe clean the same pot and set over medium heat with olive oil. When oil is hot, lower heat to medium-low and sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Increase heat to medium again, add olives, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes and cook until soft, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir until the alcohol has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste and butter until dissolved.
- Put the pasta back in the pot and gently mix until each strand is coated in the sauce. Add reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too dry.
- Toss with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Serve on warmed plates and garnish with prosciutto slices.
Recipe and Photo: TartineandApronStrings.com