Monday, January 26, 2009

Bowties with Speck Americano

Once again it's a cold week in New York, which makes it appropriate to cook hearty food. Pasta is a favorite of mine not only because you can choose any shape that you fancy, but also because you could combine it with any ingredients that you like.

My latest invention is a bowtie dish with Speck Americano, cherry tomatoes, peas and caramelized onions. Notice that this doesn't use red sauce, which makes it lighter on the stomach and on the calories. It takes about a half hour - forty minutes to prepare and the bulk of the time lies in the caramelization of onions. It's so worth it though, a generous bowl of this will fill you up and make you feel all fuzzy inside. You can pair it with crusty Italian bread but even without it, it's very good.

Bowties with Speck Americano (serves 2)

1/2 package of bowtie or farfalle pasta (about 8 oz)
1/2 large onion, diced
4-5 pieces of Speck Americano (You could get this at Whole Foods or substitute it with good prosciutto)
1 1/2 - 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, seeded and halved
1 cup of frozen or fresh peas
2 tbs of low-fat milk or sour cream
A generous glug of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Make sure to add plenty of salt to the water and when the pasta is done, reserve a cup of the pasta water.

In a large pre-heated pan, coated with olive oil, cook the onions on low heat for about 20 minutes or until they caramelize. Add the Speck Americano during the last ten minutes and also cook on low. Stir frequently to make sure that the contents don't stick to the pan.

Add the tomatoes and peas and stir for about 5 minutes until both soften but don't get mushy. Then add the low fat milk and or the sour cream and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the cooked pasta from the pot into the pan with the sauce, using a slotted spoon or a skimmer. Stir into the sauce and add pasta water to thin it out. If the sauce is too thick, add water, if it's too thin add more sour cream.


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