I recently mentioned that I bought (and fell in love with) the May issue of Bon Appetit. It is chock full of fabulous Italian recipes, from simple yet delicious pastas to sinful desserts. While flipping through, I earmarked almost every other page for recipes that I wanted to try.
This is one of those recipes.
I couldn't really get this recipe out of my head. It sounded strange and exciting and I knew I had to have it. I will tell you this: orange cream sauce changed my life.
I started by boiling some heavily salted water and tearing about 8 slices of prosciutto into about 1 inch pieces.
I think prosciutto is so pretty.
I also zested an orange.
I think that's pretty too.
When the water was boiling, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet.
Then I added the prosciutto and cooked until slightly browned.
Meanwhile, I added linguine to the salted boiling water and cooked until about 2 minutes from al dente. I reserved 1/4 cup of pasta water and added it to the prosciutto. Then I added some light cream, orange juice, and orange zest and boiled until slightly thick.
I seasoned with black pepper at this point, but left the salt until the end because the prosciutto is pretty salty.
I added the drained, undercooked pasta to the skillet, and with tongs I tossed for about 2 minutes until the pasta had finished cooking, absorbed most of the liquid, and was completely coated with the sauce.
Once the pasta had done it's work in the skillet, I removed it from the heat and added 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of butter and tossed to combine. I served in a bowl with a little more grated Parmesan on top and some chopped fresh thyme.
Oh man was this good. It was satisfying and rich but not too heavy. The orange really brightens the sauce and I wondered why on earth I hadn't thought of this before.
This opened my eyes to a whole new world of future pasta creations with different citrus. Lemon Pasta is one of my favorite dishes so it makes sense I would love other citrus variations.
And prosciutto is quickly becoming one of my favorite ingredients.
Citrus + pasta + salty cured meat = True Love 4 Ever
Here's the recipe!
Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Orange (adapted from Bon Appetit)
Kosher Salt for pasta water
12 ounce package of Fettuccine
3 Tablespoons butter, divided
about 8 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1 inch pieces
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup light cream (you could use heavy cream too, but I didn't miss it)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt well. Add fettuccine and cook until about 2 minutes until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and then drain.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add the torn prosciutto and cook until slightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add reserved pasta water, cream, orange juice, orange zest and black pepper. Bring to a boil and add undercooked pasta. Toss with tongs for about 3 minutes, until the pasta is cooked and coated completely with the sauce.
Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of butter and toss together. Taste for seasonings and add more salt or pepper if needed.
Serve in a bowl with chopped fresh thyme on top.