Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Campanelle Pasta with Radicchio, Asparagus, and Prosciutto

I'm not a huge fan of sauce on pasta. I prefer tossed pastas with lots of vegetables over spaghetti drowning in marinara. It's easier to improvise recipes with tossed pastas because you can just use what you have in your pantry and fridge. Here's what I made recently {serves 4}:
You can use whatever pasta you like; I used campanelle, which is Italian for "little bells." Looks kind of like a little bell or flower. Start by boiling a huge pot of water to cook your pasta.

Next, chop up the radicchio and eggplant into bite-sized pieces, slice up the shallots (and garlic, not pictured) really thin, and the prosciutto into strips. If you've never had radicchio, you should know that it's kind of an acquired taste because it can be rather bitter and almost spicy. If you prefer something more mild, you can substitute spinach.
To prepare the asparagus, you want to get rid of the ends because they can be extra fibrous and tough and gross. I usually just grab the asparagus by the ends and then snap off the tips. It'll snap where the tender part ends and the fibrous part begins. Once the ends are trimmed, cut the stalks into thirds, or whatever is bite-sized. If you don't like asparagus, you could use green beans or broccolini.
Blanch the asparagus in the same water as the pasta to save some time.
Grate lots of cheese!
Roughly chop up some basil or tear it by hand.
Then, in a large skillet, heat up some oil. Toss the aubergine, garlic, and shallots in the oil and let them get some color.
Add in some crushed red pepper flakes for a kick (optional).
Then finally, all of the elements can come together. Add the asparagus to the pan and toss. Then add in the pasta and radicchio and toss until it's slightly wilted and then turn off the heat. Pour in the heavy cream and cheese and toss quickly to make sure the cheese gets evenly distributed before it melts and clumps. Then add in the prosciutto and basil, toss, and serve.
Sprinkle with a little extra parmesan before digging in.

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