Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bowties with Asparagus, Mascarpone and Jamón Serrano

Inspired by my cooking friend's blog, I made this pasta dish for our dinner last night. I left out the mushrooms and added some Spanish Jamón Serrano I had on hand that needed using. I also added some fresh basil I had laying around. I lived in Spain for a number of years growing up and never tried Jamón Serrano, but I did last night and it was wonderful! It added such flavor to this dish. I don't think I'll be one to eat it raw or anything. I hope that doesn't make anyone twitchy. Anyway.... if you live outside of Spain/Portugal or any other country that carries this ham for a fairly cheap price, you could substitute Italian prosciutto, or even cooked and crumbled bacon in this dish. Or, just add the mushrooms like the orginal recipe called for, and forget the pork products altogether!

Note:  Since I posted this almost a year ago, I've made this many times, and I always use Portuguese presunto now, because it's readily availabe to me.  I also use toasted pecans now; they add a pleasant sweetness.  We LOVE this dish- it's one of my husband's favorites out of anything I've made.  It's so good and comes together quite easily. 

Bowties with Asparagus, Mascarpone and Jamón Serrano
adapted from Eating, Etc.

1/2lb bowtie pasta
1/2 cup pasta water, reserved
3T unsalted butter
1 large fresh garlic clove, minced
4-5 ounces Jamón Serrano, Portuguese Presunto, or prosciutto, coarsley chopped
1/2lb asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
1/2 cup (4oz) mascarpone cheese
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, shredded

1) In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente (about 10 minutes). Drain, reserving 1/2c pasta water.

2) Saute garlic, for 1 minute, in melted butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add Jamón Serrano and asparagus and sauté over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, until asparagus is crisp-tender. Do not overcook.

3) Reduce heat to medium and add pasta and mascarpone; toss until cheese melts and coats pasta; slowly add reserved pasta water, as needed, to moisten (I used just a few tablespoons).

4) Remove from heat and add toasted walnuts.  Toss with parmigiano reggiano cheese and fresh basil.  Season with salt & pepper (you may not need any additional salt).  Serve immediately.
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Sara said...

I love serrano ham, I have never put it in pasta before. I bet it's great with the asparagus!

Linda said...

LOL over the twitchy comment--I wouldn't be brave enough to try it raw. I love how you have fresh basil "laying around". :)

Your asparagus looks perfect--it all looks delish!