While you could easily add bacon or pancetta to this pasta I like the deep, salty flavor of crispy prosciutto as it pairs nicely with the creamy ricotta. After a quick sear in the skillet the prosciutto becomes very lean and easily crumbles. Prosciutto can come with a hefty price tag but a little goes a long way in this dish.
1 pound dried, tubular pasta, such as gemeli
10 ounces green peas, fresh or frozen
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 ounces prosciutto
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Freshly ground black pepper
1 batch Salted Ricotta
Heat a large pot of heavily salted water over high heat until boiling. Cook pasta according to package directions. During the last minute of cooking add the peas to the pot. Pour the pasta and peas into a colander and drain well. You don’t want excess water in the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, fry prosciutto until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side, in batches if necessary. Set prosciutto aside on a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool. Crumble into pieces.
In a large, shallow bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, lemon zest, juice and chopped herbs along with some salt and pepper. Add the drained pasta and peas and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. Top with large dollops of Salted Ricotta (or you can alternatively mix it altogether to create a creamy pasta) and crumbled prosciutto.
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