Over a year ago I wrote about a delicious pasta dish, Pappardelle with Broccolini, Feta, Pine Nuts and Lemon, a favorite from a cooking class taught by Tom Hudgens, author of The Commonsense Kitchen cookbook.
In my post I mentioned making it a year earlier for my friends, Carson and Ian, who were new parents at the time.
Well, when we saw our friends in Seattle, we made the Pappardelle Pasta for dinner and Carson suggested an addition that she had made to the recipe: prosciutto. She also suggested using Lemon Pepper Pappardelle if you can find it (which we found and bought at Trader Joe’s), it’s perfect for this dish.
We made a double recipe of the pasta and added a 4 oz. package of sliced prosciutto that I cut into pieces and frizzed up in a pan with a little olive oil.
That little baby? He’s now this grown up guy, digging into the pasta.
While I was running for my camera to get a photo of the finished dish, he was grabbing the tongs and helping himself!
Before vacation was over, we made another double batch at the last place we were staying. Broccolini or Broccoli were not favored by some of the guests, so I added spinach to the pasta and though it wasn’t the best substitute, it was still very tasty. Asparagus or zucchini would have been better choices. I also cooked some broccoli and served it on the side instead of in the pasta.
If you tried it before, you might want to try it again with (or without) the addition of some fried prosciutto. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should make this pasta!
Pasta with Broccolini, Feta Cheese, Pine Nuts & Lemon
(Adapted from The Commonsense Kitchen, Tom Hudgens)
Serves 4 to 6
8 oz. pasta (Pappardelle or other shape)
salt (for the pasta water)
1 lb. broccolini, or sprouting broccoli, or broccoli
2 to 4 oz. pine nuts I love this pasta for dinner by itself so use the greater amount of nuts. If you are serving it as a side dish, you can use fewer pine nuts.
extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (see note about feta, below)
1 lemon (zest and juice)
2 to 4 oz. sliced prosciutto (cut each slice into quarters) (optional)
black pepper to taste
pinch of hot red pepper flakes (optional)
A note about feta: I can sometimes find an Israeli sheep’s milk feta called Pastures of Eden at Trader Joe’s. It is creamy, tangy and salty and wonderful in this recipe.
Cut the broccolini into large bite-sized pieces – in half lengthwise and crosswise is enough.
If the pine nuts aren’t dry-toasted , toast them in a dry pan over medium heat until they are golden brown. (Trader Joe’s has dry-toasted pine nuts).
Bring 1 1/2 gallons of water to a rolling boil, and add a heaping tablespoon of salt. Throw in the pasta, and boil, stirring frequently, until the pasta is almost, but not quite, cooked through. Add the broccolini to the pot and cook until pasta and broccolini are tender.
While the pasta and broccolini are cooking, zest the lemon (I love my microplane grater for this task) then cut lemon in half.
If using the optional prosciutto, fry it up crispy in a bit of olive oil. Set aside.
When both the pasta and the broccolini are cooked, scoop a bit of the pasta water out of the pot and set aside. Drain pasta and broccolini.
In a large bowl (or I like to use the pot in which I cooked the pasta), combine the pasta and broccolini with a splash of olive oil, a bit of the pasta water, 2/3 the feta cheese, pine nuts, lemon zest, squeeze on juice from one or both halves of lemon as desired, add red pepper flakes if using, and black pepper to taste.
Now put it in the serving bowl, top with remaining feta and crispy prosciutto, if using, and serve. You can also set aside a bit of the lemon zest and pine nuts and sprinkle those over the finished dish.
Thanks for the visit.