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!

 

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