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Orecchiette with Snow Peas and Prosciutto
From The Ultimate Pasta Cookbook, by Pasquale Bruno Jr.

This is an adaptation of a dish that I had a number of years ago in a small trattoria in Parma, Italy. I recall that tender young fresh peas were used, so use them if possible.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup reduced-sodium canned chicken broth or chicken stock
1 cup shelled green peas or frozen peas
3/4 pound orecchiette pasta
3 ounces imported prosciutto, sliced thin and torn into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions:

In a sauté pan or skillet large enough to hold all of the pasta after it has been cooked, warm the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Cook and stir for 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and the peas. Reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are tender — about 10 minutes. (If using frozen peas, simmer for only 2 minutes.) Take the pan off the heat.

Pour 4 quarts of water into a large pot. Bring the water to a boil. Add 2 tsp of salt to the water. Plunge the pasta into the pot and stir at once, and again while it is cooking. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain well and add the pasta to the sauté pan. Add the prosciutto and the basil. Toss to combine. Divide the pasta among four heated pasta bowls. Sprinkle an equal amount of cheese over each serving.

Yield: Serves 4

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