spaghetti with asparagus and prosciutto

this recipe is from one of Giada de laurentis’ early cookbooks and i have had great success with this over the years.  the amounts can be increased or decreased depending on the number of guests that will be at the table for the evening meal.

i begin with one large bunch of asparagus, which i have cleaned and trimmed.  using a very large heavy saucepan, boil the asparagus for exactly 2 minutes.  remove from the boiling water and immediately cool on a small sheet pan within an ice bath.  i simply place about 12 ice cubes on the half sheet pan and line the asparagus between the melting ice.

next, using the same boiling water, and boil four servings of thin spaghetti.  when boiling has completed the cooking, pour the water and spaghetti into a colander to drain in the sink.  using the same hot pan, return the pan to the cook top and add 6 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips.  brown the meat.

while the meat is cooking, slice the asparagus on the tray into bite-sized portions.  next, add the asparagus to the meat to heat.  when these two ingredients are hot, add the pasta back into the pan, with 1/2 stick of softened margarine and toss. heat completely.

add about 6 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese, with salt and pepper to taste.  serve with garlic toast and a side salad.  when the cheese is added to the hot pasta, it melts and provides a creamy texture to the pasta.  make certain to remove from the heat or the cheese will melt to the pan.

i truly love the taste of the pasta with the meat, cheese, and vegetable.  this recipe does not require a heavy sauce and will be a refreshing change from other pasta meals. this recipe will make at least four servings.

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