Pasta del lunedì: Orecchiette ai 2 formaggi with broccoli, mushrooms, red onions, bacon, prosciuttino and cheese

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This really cool pasta dish came out of… my head with the help of what was in my pantry and refrigerator! meaning I just put together some fresh mushrooms that needed some help and a prosciutto craving that I had that day. Not the same sandwich I thought!

The beautiful Italian pasta package in my pantry said hello, so all came suddenly together as a fast, flavorful pasta combo the kind that makes a good  meal or starter. The grated mozzarella is the star, really, adding  a lot of gooey gooey texture, when the Parmigiano brings a final salty creamy touch. Yes, I know… the magic Italian food…

By the way, did you know that orecchiette means in Italian little ears? … somewhere in their shape!

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 500 gr or 1 lb good quality pasta fresca orecchiette
  • 1/3 cup extra virging olive oil
  • 1 or 2 slices butter
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 glove garlic chopped
  • 2/3 cup broccoli florets, frozen or fresh
  • 4 to 5 pre – cooked bacon slices crispy in pieces
  • 3 slices prosciutto shredded
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup grated mozzarella
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

How you make it:

  • Heat olive oil in large skillet, over medium heat, add onion and garlic, reduce to low, add some salt, stir often, cook for 5 minutes till soft and tender. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 more  minutes over medium low.
  • Meanwhile in small pan, bring to boil some salted water, covering broccoli florets quickly boil, 3 minutes, and reserve 3 Tbsp of water, then drop them in bath of ice water, previously prepared. Drain.
  • Add some broccoli and their reserved water to the sauce, 1 or 2 slice of butter, a pinch of salt and saute’ some few minutes more at low heat.
  • Prepare the bacon in a skillet or in the oven at 350F. till well crispy. Break in medium pieces.
  • While boiling the broccoli, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Cook orecciette following package instructions, remembering to keep 1/2 cup f the pasta water. Drain pasta when 2 minutes shy of doneness, return pasta to the pot, add pasta water to the sauce,  on medium heat, cook 1 to 2 minutes, then add sauce to pasta and toss for 1 to 2 minutes all together.Remove from heat.

To Serve :
Spoon orecchiette with sauce on each plate, add prosciutto and bacon pieces, adjust seasoning, then top with a good serving of grated mozzarella and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Mozzarella will slowly melt into the pasta. Pure delight! Serve and eat right away!!
All the other ITALIAN RECIPES >

Tips and Info: The Pasta Water
Keeping 1/3 to /2 cup of pasta water helps to combine the sauce and the sauce to the pasta. The starches in the water will help to cling to the pasta and it will be absorbed much easier. When adding to the sauce, always cook it at last 1 minute to combine then toss the pasta 1 minute more.
That is why we always suggest to cook the pasta 2 minutes shy from the time indicated on the package, as it will be done when pasta is tossed with the sauce.

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