Everyone loves PASTA. I LOVE PASTA! I love it in any cuisine too and of course in my own heritage cuisine, Italian. Sometimes bad things happen to good pasta like bad sauce, incorrect recipes, oversaucing, undercooking. The variety of shapes and sauces is endless and let me share one of my favorites with you, FILETTO DI POMODORO with PROSCIUTTO. This sauce most probably based on one from Italy had a real day in the sun a few years ago. It showed up on every menu. Too often I found that the sauce was nothing more than a cooked tomato sauce, sometimes with the actual “filets” of tomato visible with garlic or onion in the olive oil saute’ and many times with bits or pieces of Prosciutto. Each kitchen has their own view of how this should be made. I have no tolerance for ho-hum food that I’m paying for so I studied this dish and came up with a version of my own which sets it apart from just another tomato sauce. I mean it’s CALLED Filetto di Pomodoro..shouldn’t that be the most notable quality?? If not why bother? (Extreme? perhaps, however, it’s how I roll). I think the type of tomato is important too and my choice is the San Marzano. I also like the inclusion of sort of crisped Prosciutto, for taste and texture. OH you will love this. The ingredients are important, as always. The Prosciutto should not be paper thin, but not thick either. Have it cut thin enough to fold it but not thin enough for it to come apart. Size of a food, shape, thickness will make or break a dish. Here’s the ingredients in my FILETTO Garlic, Prosciutto, San Marzano tomatoes from Italy seeded and cut into strips and fresh basil.
Everything fresh! That basil came out of my backyard. Grow a pot or two at your own home if you don’t have room in a garden during the Summer months. Fresh picked is so much more fragrant. And no pre chopped garlic. It resembles real garlic about as much as a Tic Tac does.
TIME: about 30 MINUTES
28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes (drain the can juices, reserve for some other use, seed the tomatoes and slice them into strips. then lay them on paper towels)
1 lb. IMPORTED ITALIAN TAGLIATELLE, FETTUCCINE, LINGUINE..oh, ok…that’s my preference, use whatever pasta shape you like..(but it will be better with the long and flat type…)
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
6 fresh Basil leaves
4 ounces prosciutto, sliced 1/8-inch thick, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1 tsp ground black pepper (or less to taste), 1/2 tsp KOSHER SALT
1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
In a large heavy pan, heat 1/2 the olive oil and add the prosciutto. Let the prosciutto saute for about 3,minutes per side.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions (i love DeCecco or Delverde Imported Italian Pasta) till just at al dente. Then drain. While the water comes to the boil, you can do the following:
Then add the garlic and let it cook for about 3 minutes longer. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate. Now add the tomatoes and cook for 4minutes per side letting them caramelize a bit. FLAVOR!!! Concentrates the tomato flavor and absorbs the flavors of the already sauteed prosciutto and garlic. Remove them, Now add a few pieces of the prosciutto back till they are just crisp..it will not take long. Reserve and save to garnish the finished plates. Add the tomatoes, pinch of salt and remaining garlic,prosciutto back into the pan. Let this heat together for about 3 minutes.
add 2 basil leaves. Then gently add the drained al dente pasta, the rest of the olive oil and coat the pasta well letting it cook for no more than 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. add 1/2 the grated cheese and mix in..Tear up the remaining basil leaves and use them to garnish everyone’s plate. Also, coarsely crumble the crisped prosciutto and top each plate with that. Nice textures. You can alternately the finished pasta to a large serving bowl and top with the basil and prosciutto. A sprinkle of Pecorino over it all. MANGIARE BENE!! EAT WELL!!