Thursday, May 26, 2011

Two Unique Tastes Combined into One

Good evening everyone!  Unique flavor combinations are the mainstay in most of my recipes.  Cooking gives you a chance to experiment and try different arrangements.  That is one of my rights as a cook that I like to exercise…a lot!  This recipe is no different.  When reading the title of the recipe, I was kind of taken aback by the two main ingredients.  Would the saltiness of the prosciutto cut out the citrusy flavor of the orange, or vice versa?  Would these two relatively obscure tastes work together or could it be the strangest pasta dishes I’ve ever created?

The Recipe:  Tagliatelle with Prosciutto and Orange
Original Recipe Found In:  Bon Appetite Magazine, May 2011
What You’ll Need:
12 Ounces Egg Tagliatelle or Fettuccine (preferably fresh)
2 Tablespoons (1/4 Stick) Unsalted Butter
2 Ounces Thinly Sliced Prosciutto, torn into one inch pieces
Zest and Juice of One Orange
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 Cup Finely Grated Parmesan

Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt.  If you had fresh pasta, you would cook it for two minutes.  Since we’re using shelf fettuccine, we’re cooking it according to package directions.  Regardless of your pasta preference, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water and drain the remaining water.

And orange juice? 

After the pasta is drained, melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the torn prosciutto and sauté until browned, three minutes.  Now, I learned from my chorizo recipe (5-2-11) that you cannot cook pork products longer than what the recipe says…following the recipe, ingenious idea, right?  So, keep your eye on the prosciutto, because it is very thin meat and will cook rather quickly if you’re not paying attention.  Or else, you might have very crispy, and hopefully not charred, prosciutto.

In the same skillet, add the reserved pasta water, fresh orange juice, half of the zest, and cream.  Bring this mixture to a boil.  Add the drained pasta and cook, stirring until the sauce coats the pasta and is warmed through, about one minute.  Season the pasta combination with salt and pepper.  Stir the cheese and enjoy!

The End Result:

When I was first read this recipe, I thought that the orange flavor would be too potent and overpower the dish.  But actually, the orange was an undertone to the whole dish.  The same could be said for the prosciutto.  It could have been incredibly salty and yet, cooking the prosciutto first calmed some of that saltiness down.  I am really pleased with the end flavor of this dish - not too citrusy, not too salty, right in between.  Although the two flavors seem so strange together, it had a great flavor to it, wasn't too tricky to make, and wasn't bogged down with a heavy sauce.

Thanks Maggie. I'll admit, I was wrong on this one. I didn't think this dish would work at all - but it did. It's hard to describe why, but it was just a perfect fit. Who would have thought, oranges and prosciutto? Maggie gets the credit for a great 'risk' and better reward tonight.

That's all we have for you this week. We're back on Tuesday with a new set of recipes (no Around The Culinary World this week). Be sure to stop in then to see what we're cooking. Until then,


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