This pasta dish is definitely considered comfort food! It has a creamy Parmesan sauce that makes it filling and hearty. In Italian, it is called Pasta e Piselli, with Piselli meaning sweet green peas. I usually think about eating this dish in the springtime when I see fresh green peas in the grocery store. However, you can enjoy this dish year-round since the ingredients are always readily available.
Linguine and Other Pasta
This recipe uses linguine, but you can substitute fettuccine, pappardelle, or tagliatelle. Generally, wide, flat noodles are best for creamy sauces so you can scoop up lots of sauce with the pasta.
Can I Substitute Bacon for Prosciutto?
Yes, you can substitute bacon if you prefer it over the prosciutto. Cook 4 or 5 slices of bacon (or more if you love bacon) and roughly chop it and sprinkle it on top of the finished dish.
Do You Cook the Prosciutto?
No, you do not have to cook prosciutto. It has been prepared by a curing process and is safe to eat. But if you prefer to cook it, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and cook it for about 10 minutes or until crispy. Separate the slices and cook them on parchment paper or a silicone mat. Keep an eye on them because they can quickly burn since they are thinly sliced!
Cut the Prosciutto into Strips
The easiest way to cut prosciutto into strips is to roll up a thin piece. Then cut it into 1/2 to 1-inch slices. If there is a lot of visible fat on the edges, trim it off after rolling it up by cutting off the edges.
I have had the best results using frozen green peas for this recipe, but you can also use fresh peas. I don’t recommend canned green peas for this dish because they usually lack the sweet taste of fresh and frozen peas.
Use a Non-Stick Pan
It is best to cook this recipe in a non-stick or seasoned pan. It helps keep the Parmesan cheese from sticking to the pan as it melts.
Don’t Overcook the Cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese will melt quickly in the hot cream. Remove the pan from the heat while stirring in the cheese. This will help keep it from curdling and forming lumps.
Save the Pasta Water
If you want extra sauce, you can always add more cream to the pan after adding the noodles. However, there is another way: add pasta water to the sauce.
If you don’t want the extra calories from cream, pasta water works great and adds flavor to the dish. The starch helps thicken the sauce and bind it to the pasta.
Leave the sliced prosciutto in rolls to garnish this dish. Also, use grated, shredded, or shaved Parmesan cheese to garnish. Enjoy!