Lemon Pasta with Mascarpone, Prosciutto di Parma and Spinach

Lemon Pasta with Mascarpone, Prosciutto di Parma & Spinach

I have another ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ type of pasta recipe to share today with Prosciutto di Parma, Spinach and a Lemon Mascarpone sauce. Sounds lush and decadent doesn’t it?

Prosciutto is quickly pan-fried, then a simple sauce is made with sauteed garlic, grated lemon peel, mascarpone cheese, Parmesan and pasta water.

The sauce is light and rich at the same time, not at all heavy like you think it might be with mascarpone. The pasta water works well at thinning out the sauce without making it watery. It also helps it coat and cling to the pasta.

Grated lemon peel and juice works in a subtle way to brighten up the entire dish. I was hesitant about using it with Prosciutto but it was delicious blended with the other flavors.

I used fresh rosemary because I had some on hand – basil would be equally good or even parsley for adding a hint of fresh flavor.

This is the type of pasta that you can just keep eating and eating forever! It’s exceptionally good; creamy and kind of chewy; rustic and comforting with slight hints of salt, sweet and citrus flavors. But don’t take my word for it – try it your self!

Lemon Pasta with Mascarpone, Prosciutto di Parma & Spinach
Pasta with Mascarpone & Prosciutto
(by Reeni)
8 ounces Spaghetti* (like Barilla Whole Grain)
1 cup frozen Spinach*
5 cloves Garlic, minced
6 ounces sliced Prosciutto di Parma, rough chopped in large, bite-size pieces
Olive Oil, for sauteing
1 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, fresh grated, plus additional for serving
1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, Basil or Parsley, chopped
1 lemon, the peel grated and juiced
1 cup of Pasta Water
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, for serving
1. Cook the pasta and spinach together in plenty of water to al dente according to package directions. Drain and reserve a cup of pasta water. Add pasta back to pan with a tablespoon of butter.
2. Meanwhile saute Prosciutto in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it starts to curl and shrink around the edges – it should only take a few minutes – be careful not to over cook. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. In the same skillet (let it cool a bit so as not to brown the garlic) add a teaspoon or two of oil and saute garlic over low heat until fragrant. Carefully add enough pasta water to just cover the bottom of the pan along with the mascarpone and lemon peel. Whisk together over low heat until well combined. Turn heat up to medium-low, add Parmesan and more pasta water if needed. Simmer for two to three minutes.
4. Toss everything together including the lemon juice and Rosemary, adding more pasta water if the sauce becomes too thick. Serve with a drizzle of Extra-Virgin Olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
*Substitute fresh Spinach, 3 cups loosely packed, chopped, saute with garlic and remove before making sauce.

I recommend that you prep everything and have it lined up ready to go like you would a stir-fry. It goes quickly once you get everything prepped. Start your pasta water and then get right to work sauting the Prosciutto. By the time the pasta is done the sauce will be coming together. Don’t forget to reserve some of the pasta water – or carefully dip a ladle into it if it’s still cooking and your ready to start the sauce.

Lemon Pasta with Mascarpone, Prosciutto di Parma & Spinach


I’m sending this to Ruth of Once Upon a Feast for Presto Pasta Nights!


Roasted Lemon Potatoes: Side Dish Showdown

Roasted Lemon Rosemary Potatoes

Just a simple side dish today to kick off my Side Dish Showdown monthly blogger event. This pairs potatoes with lemons. A rarity. When I think of potatoes I don’t often never think of lemons. So when I saw just this very thing in my new issue of Food Network magazine it immediately sparked my interest. Speaking of. If you’ve never picked a copy of this magazine you should. It’s full of recipes from start to finish. Recipes you will really want to make and eat. Some are very basic that you can build your own ideas on and others that are more intense. And the best part for me is the lady who shall remain nameless here – you know her for 30 minute meals – is nowhere to be found.

The potatoes are started on top of the stove in an iron-proof skillet by boiling them with lemon, olive oil, garlic and in this case Rosemary (the original used oregano). Then they get roasted in the oven, and Parmesan, my contribution, gets sprinkled over top.

I really loved these – the lemon was prominent but not tart, and they went perfectly alongside a whole roasted chicken. And this brings me to one of the reasons why I am starting this side dish event. The potatoes added something special to the meal; the lemon and rosemary are classic flavors for chicken; they were a nice compliment and really rounded out the meal to make it memorable. More so than if I had just eaten a baked potato with it, or even mashed potatoes or steamed up some rice. Not that any of those are bad; just boring; and they don’t add much to the meal; just fulfill a purpose.

I want to give more attention to sides; the underdog of the meal; the afterthought. My goal is to be a resource for finding fabulous side dishes quickly, whether it be on the spur of the moment while that chicken is roasting, to use up a certain ingredient before it goes bad, to get you out of a rut and find something new and interesting to serve. But most of all I want to put more thought into picking just the right side that is going to work with the flavors of the entire meal. When you think of that delicious chicken dish you made last week I want you to automatically think of the side too, and how much it brought to the meal, because the flavors go hand in hand. I know I’ll be doing that with my chicken and lemon potatoes. Remembering them. I ate it on Sunday and I’m still thinking about it. Both of them. Not just the succulent roasted chicken. But those potatoes too, so delicious together.

Side Dish Showdown will be a monthly blogger event that will start on the first or second of each month and run through to the last day of the month. On the 1st or 2nd I will post a round-up and announce that month’s theme. Did I mention that? We’ll have different themes every month. To kick things off this month we’ll have an Anything Goes theme.

Guidelines For Joining:
1. The side dish(es) must be a blogged recipe dated during the month of entry. No oldies. Just for this month it will be from today Feb.10 to the end of the month.
2. You must mention that it is for Side Dish Showdown with a link back to this post or to the side dish showdown page located on my toolbar.
3. The dish has to be a side dish. No mains, soups, etc…
4. Up to two entries per blog per month. Please no more than two.
5. You must add your link(s) to the McKLINKY (link will be below) for it to be included in the round-up. By doing this you give me permission to use a picture of the dish off your post in the round-up. After you add your link please check back and make sure it was added correctly.
6. Any questions e-mail me at cinnamonyspice@gmail.com
7. Have fun, think outside the box, try new flavors, new techniques, and mention in your blog what flavors and main dishes you think would go well with it.

Please Add The Side Dish Showdown Badge to Your Blog Sidebar and to your side dish posts to help spread the word about it – I would greatly appreciate it!

Side Dish Showdown Blogger Event

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Roasted Lemon Rosemary Potatoes

Roasted Lemon Rosemary Potatoes
(adapted from Food Network Magazine)
4 Potatoes, cut in 1 and 1/2 inch slices
1/3 cup Lemon Juice, fresh squeezed
1/4 cup Olive Oil
4 Garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, chopped
Sea or Kosher salt and fresh Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Parmesan, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the potatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and rosemary together in an oven-proof skillet. Season with salt and pepper.
Fill with water halfway up the sides of the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Roast for 30-35 minutes until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle Parmesan over top.

Light and Luscious Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

My Mom loves lemon chicken. Any and all kinds of lemon chicken. She makes many different ones including Chicken Francese, Chicken Piccata and this recipe that she just calls Lemon Chicken. It is the simpler of the three – without the strong flavor bursts of the capers in the Piccata or the wine in the Francese. Or the tell-tale pucker. It’s a milder, lighter version, and my favorite of the three.

The chicken is lightly dredged in flour and pan-fried. The chicken is removed and garlic and onion are sauteed. The chicken along with lemon juice and chicken broth are added back in to finish cooking in the oven. The lemon and chicken broth together make a flavorful, broth that isn’t overpowered by the lemon.

It’s nicely balanced, bright, and delicious. The chicken is fork tender and melts in your mouth in little bursts of subtle lemon flavor. This is a perfect summertime comfort meal!

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken
(From My Mom)
1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breast
Sea salt and fresh pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
2 lemons
14 oz. chicken broth(about 1 and 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
Linguine or Spaghetti
Parmesan, fresh grated
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out your chicken breasts to 1/2 – 1 inch thick, cover with saran wrap first so chicken juice doesn’t fly everywhere.
2. In a small bowl combine about 1/2 cup flour with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Wash the chicken breasts(don’t dry them), season with salt and pepper, and lightly coat them with the flour mixture.
3. In a large oven proof skillet over medium heat melt the butter and vegetable oil together. Add the chicken breasts and cook on each side until golden brown.
4. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add the garlic and onion, saute over medium-low heat until tender. Add the chicken back to the pan. Squeeze the lemons over the chicken breasts. Add the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the lemons and place them on top of the chicken.
5. Finish cooking them in the oven about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. In the mean time cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions.
6. Finish by sprinkling parsley over the top.
7. Serve over linguine or spaghetti with fresh grated Parmesan.

Moon says thanks for all the birthday wishes! He read all your comments:

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Lemon Chicken