Creamy Tomato Parmesan Linguine with Peas and Prosciutto - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Creamy Tomato Parmesan Linguine with Peas and Prosciutto

March 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Posted in Dinner, Lunch, Pasta, Pork, Vegetarian | 73 Comments
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Is anybody still out there?  I hope so.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine. My most requested sauce.

I’m so sorry for my exceedingly long absence from blogging. I truly, truly feel awful about it, and I’m so happy and relieved to finally get something up.  As many of you know (that is, whoever decided to stick around, and again, so, so sorry), I’ve been sick for some time and it’s been extremely difficult to pull off even the most mundane tasks.

Since last June, for about 5 months, I could barely write, much less peel a carrot.  I was able to get in a paragraph or two maybe once a month and that was what I called a good month.  Around January, I felt a little better so I started writing a little more, and now I’m here.  For how long, I don’t know, but I’m here.

Tomato Parmesan Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

Of course I couldn’t put this ‘Hi, I’m back’ post up without a recipe, since it is a food blog.  Much to my disappointment, I couldn’t play and had to choose something basic and simple (with a little help), but basic and simple doesn’t make it any less amazing.  In fact, it usually makes it more amazing and difficult because every single facet must be spot on, and every ingredient top notch, since there are no extraneous components and preparations to hide behind.

Creamy Tomato Parmesan Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

This recipe is a derivative of an alfredo sauce I make via cutting down the cream and adding tomatoes.  But, I shouldn’t refer to my favorite alfredo sauce as alfredo because true alfredo does not contain even a speck of cream. To digress somewhat, authentic alfredo is a remarkably creamy amalgam of just butter, parmesan cheese and pasta water, – and, when done right, it’s actually better than alfredo made with cream.  I know, shocking, but it makes up for it with twice the butter!

 

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

I digress. (I use this so much that it must get annoying, so I’ll try not to digress anymore.  Once again, try..as it could prove difficult.)

I would have much rather posted one of the amazing cakes, pastries or breads that have been blistering my brain for 8 months running, but due to my current circumstances, those ideas can’t be fully executed yet.  I miss playing with batters, dough, fillings and frosting, so much so, it literally breaks my heart to tears. Not being able to cook or bake feels like someone brutally ripped a pacifier from my mouth and won’t give it back. SO, hopefully sooner than later.

Creamy Tomato Parmesan Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

On another note, I forgot how awful it is not having enough natural light to take photos in.  Heavy duty bummer moment when I uploaded these photos, especially after months of pinning other blogger’s gorgeous, naturally lit photos. Why did I think it would be any different this time?  Well, I’m mostly to blame because I let my tower of pasta sit too long before snapping away.

Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without peas and prosciutto

Now that I’ve waxed kvetchic, I want to share with you one of my favorite and most requested pasta dishes. If you don’t like prosciutto and/or peas, of course you can eliminate them.  This sauce is perfection on its own.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without Peas and ProsciuttoI attempted to build a linguine tower with a fork and tongs.  Obviously, it didn’t work out too well. With natural light, it would have looked magnificent just dumped on a plate.  Without it, you need to get creative.

Creamy Tomato Parmesan Linguine with (or without)  Peas and Prosciutto (Tomato Alfredo)
4 – 6 servings
Peas and prosciutto optional since the sauce is phenomenal on its own

Print – Highlight the recipe, then right click on it and choose print. in the drop down menu. Voila..only the recipe prints, nothing else.

1 pound linguine (any other pasta is fine and fresh is ideal since sauces cling better to fresh pasta)
kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 shallot, chopped finely
1 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) with liquid
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas*
1/4 lb sliced prosciutto (taste it before buying, you don’t want it too salty)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or freshly grated Parmesan cheese..
red hot pepper flakes (optional, the amount depending on how hot you like it)
chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)

* I couldn’t find any fresh peas, so I had to use frozen.  However, I highly recommend fresh since the frozen just don’t compare in flavor, unless I just got a really bad box of frozen peas.

DIRECTIONS:
1.  In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water plus a generous pinch plus of kosher salt to a boil (about 1 tablespoon per 2  quarts water, so 3 tablespoons in this case).  Taste the water, it should be salty like the ocean.

2. While waiting for the water to boil, pour the can of tomatoes with juice into the work bowl of a food processor.  DO NOT turn on the processor at full speed because you will end up with pink foam.  Just pulse until you have a smooth puree.

3. Over medium heat, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep pan or skillet.  Add the chopped garlic and chopped shallot to the oil.  Saute until soft and translucent, then slowly pour in the pureed tomatoes and their juice.  Bring the tomato sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste as it simmers (go easy on the salt because of the cheese that will be added).  If you’re using the red hot pepper flakes, add them now.  Simmer until it reduces a bit about 10 to 15 minutes tops.

4. While the tomato sauce simmers, add the linguine to the boiling pot of water and cook until al dente (about 6 to 8 minutes, keep checking by biting into a strand).  In the mean time, once the sauce has simmered for 10-15 minutes, stir the 2 tablespoons of butter, then add the peas and let them cook for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on their size (fresh peas are bigger).  Slowly pour the cream into the sauce, swirling the pan and stirring, then add the sliced prosciutto, stirring to distribute it evenly.

5.  Immediately drain the linguine, pouring some of the pasta water into a cup in case you need to thin the sauce once the cheese is added.  If your pan or skillet is big enough, dump all the linguine right into the sauce and toss, adding all the parmigiano-reggiano cheese at once and tossing over the heat until it coats the linguine.  If your skillet or pan isn’t big enough, dump the pasta into a large bowl and pour the sauce and cheese on top of it, tossing until all the pasta is coated.

If the sauce is too thick once tossed with the linguine, thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water.

6.  Top with the chopped parsley (if using), some extra fresh ground pepper, and serve immediately, passing extra Parmigiano-Reggiano or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Creamy Tomato Parmesan Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

 

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  1. Thank you for another installment! I was starting to wonder if I’d missed it.. I’m glad I didn’t! I am very sorry to hear you’ve been ill. Thank you for making the effort to reconnect and I hope you can get back to baking soon.

    • Thank you so much, Riversana, that means the world to me :)

  2. YESSSSS!!!i’ve always wanted to learn how to make a ”creamy tomato sauce”!! thank you!!! i’ll leave out the pork (and maybe add some wild scallions instead), but i know that sauce will be perfect :)
    your recipes always are-

    it’s funny, i can feel the mood and gist of your story through your pasta recipe!! so strange–and a great episode–well written !

    thanks for making my night :))))

  3. oh and loved learning about Alfredo’s as well–thanx! i had no idea, even though i did live and work in south central jersey shore!

    • Hi, again, johanna :) Of course you can leave out the prosciutto..and/or peas and add anything else you like. Just the sauce as is, is perfect, and that’s what I usually stick to. That said, can you really feel the mood of the story through the recipe? I guess I really let it rip this time, huh? As for the authentic alfredo, it really is remarkable – it’s all about technique over cream, although it doesn’t skimp on the butter!

      • wow-
        maybe you could do a post on the ‘authentic’ version?! if there’s anybody who could make that successful for a not-so-great-cook, it would be you-
        and hey, what’s not to love about butter ;)

        and yes, strangely, there is something about your story and the recipe, the way they were both written, the flavors, etc, that remind me of each other..well-done!

      • I was actually pondering that the past few days, except using a technique so I can cut the butter in half and make it even creamier! I think we’ve had ‘brain waves’ ;)

  4. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I received the email telling me you posted. I’m so sorry you’ve been sick, but glad you’re well enough to write again because, Girl, you wrote the hell out of this part and I was completely fixated for over an hour! I’m almost afraid of whats coming, but I can’t wait! You really need to start writing books, seriously.

    • Wow, Katherine, thanks so much for that. Like I mentioned above, I really let it rip this time. As for writing a book, uh, no..lol

  5. Sorry you were under-the-weather but I’m glad you’re back blogging.
    And you don’t have to appologize(!)
    Awesome dish – I can almost smell the aroma
    I loooooooooooove it

  6. I’m so sorry to hear that you have been sick. Good to know that you are feeling better now…

    This tagliatelle dish is mouthwatering! A fabulous combination of ingredients.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  7. You should write a book. Seriously.

  8. Hope you are feeling better! So glad to see you writing again.

    • Thank you, Braebella! Very cool and pretty name :)

  9. Oh, Lisa, my heart is beating so hard for you! If it’s what I think it is..there is no worse feeling!! This was so beautifully written, so honest and raw….especially the part about the zit popping and jammies! I’m so glad your back and hope you can bake some awesome cakes soon! Waiting with baited breath for the next part!

    • Thank you, Dina..I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! The zit popping and jammies,well, it’s who I am, or who I was at that time, rather, no matter how embarrassing or OTT.

  10. Welcome back!!! i don’t know if i can wait another week for part 23, but i will and while i’m waiting, i’m definitely making this pasta! I used to make something similar, but using soaked sun dried tomatoes and sausage.

    • Hi, Kelly! Thank you! Your pasta sounds great. Could you email me the recipe?

  11. I have been checking your website every few days since November. I am SO glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better (I don’t even know you and I was getting worried at the absence). Your story was gripping as always. So tragic that you tied this part of the story with an alfredo recipe. :( I will definitely try this recipe soon, though. I can never say no to pasta or prosciutto.

    • Katie, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and worrying if I was okay even though you only know me through my blog. It shows what a genuinly sweet caring person you are xoxo

      —-

      That being said, the recipe does tie in, but the alfredo I made then and still make to this day (which I’ll post here eventually)) is far too good to ‘not make’ because it was created during that time, WHICH, I might add, doesn’t turn out as you might think it will ;D

  12. You’re back! I’ve missed you Lisa! Glad you’re writing again and I’m gonna mail you soon!!! Xxx

  13. Welcome back! I’m glad to see that you are on the road to recovery (finally). It looks like you had a lot of time to work on this installment! I hope that you continue to feel better everyday…

  14. Sorry you’re not well! Hope you’ll get back to regular posting soon.

    • Thank you, Kelster! I hope so too :)

  15. Let’s just say it was worth waiting for, and the pasta too…looks delicious. This installment is over the top, you really poured it out. I hope this is good medicine for you and you are back on the mend. I would see all your pins and hit your blog to see if your were back. So happy to see you in my feed today! Welcome!

  16. I’m so sorry you’re sick. I hope you’ll be feeling better soon. I am still enjoying your story and it’s reminding me of some of my naive moments in past relationships. P.S. The pasta looks amazing. I am challenging myself to only take photos in daylight and find that I can’t blog as often because of that. It’s tough when I can only cook and photograph stuff on weekends.

  17. I’m so giddy that you”re back! :) My boyfriend called this afternoon and said that I was going to have a lot of reading to do tonight, I was like, what? Then he told me your alert was emailed! I held back on parts 18 through 21 for months so I would be able to read a ton at once, but then I saw how much you wrote, so I’m just taking a break in the middle of part 20 to write to you AND finally eat dinner at 11:32 pm! You are the best! Loving this story soooo much!!

    • Wow, Adriana, thank you! I do the same if I’m reading a story blog that doesn’t update much! Stockpile to satiate, is what I call it! xo Hope you enjoyed your late dinner!

  18. Well your writing skills are on full display as well as your heart, mind and soul. The story is oozing with every possible emotion. Like many here you should be writing books. Not sure I like where the story is headed but the depth of honesty and realism is just beautiful. Well done!

    • Whoa, thank you, Dave. I’m extremely flattered. I think sad times induce this type of writing and it’s almost unavoidable. It wouldn’t stop pouring and editing most of it out wasn’t even a thought. It is what it is.

  19. I am so so glad you posted…. It took a tremendous amount of courage, baby. I think it is good for you both physically and mentally. Therapy. Catharsis. And look at how many of us have been waiting to find out what happened??? Keep writing. Some of your phrases are amazing and I wish I would have, could have thought of them. Your story is gripping and extremely well written and don’t you forget that. Keep writing.

    And simple? I adore this pasta dish (I even love – prefer frozen peas) and I’ll try this for my men who I know will love it. I think it is perfect comfort food.

  20. So good to hear from you. I am glad you are feeling a bit better. Baby steps, right…Great story. I love your tower of tomato parmesan linguine. My boys would lap that up in just moments. Take Care, BAM

  21. Hi Lisa. Can I use light cream instead of heavy cream for this recipe?

    • Hi, Janet! I don’t see why not, although I’ve never tried it, so I’m just guessing. The only caveat I can think of is that the sauce may not thicken as quickly as it does with heavy cream. Please let me know how it turns out, if you can. :)

  22. I made this for dinner tonight and it was spectacular. Instead of the prosciutto, I added precooked, crumbled hot sausage. This sauce is a keeper. Thank you, Lisa!

    • You’re welcome, Derek, and I’m glad you liked it!

  23. Lisa, I just finished reading and all I can say is , wow. I’m exhausted and near tears! You wrote this with such ferocity, but at the same time, sadness. I don’t want it to end!! I’m so happy to see you back and well, chica!
    Oh, the pasta looks delightful, but my stomach is knots like yours was! lmao

    • Aww, thanks, Dinavia. It was certainly hard to write and publish. It took a lot out of me too. So good to see you again!

  24. Can I just tell you how INCREDIBLY nice it is to “see” you?!?! Man, I miss your recipes, writing and of course, the story. I truly hope you’re on the mend and starting to feel better. I hope that things are on an upswing. This recipe sounds fantastic. Simple, flavorful and I bookmarked it to try soon.

    As for the story, I cannot even imagine how difficult this story is to write. As I learn more, read more, it’s all just so intense! Love that you’re sharing it with us though and you know I’ll be really looking forward to the next part. Please, stay well and don’t stay away so long next time. I missed you!!

  25. I am so happy to see you! Even though I subscribe, I would still check every day…email, facebook, then parsley, sage, and sweet! I stopped last week because I was on vacay in Antigua, and of course that’s when you post!! I am so in love with this story but this part made me sad. I went through something similar at the end of my last relationship and it was like it was happening all over again. Im hoping it turns out better than mine! Im so looking forward to the next part, but I wish it wasn’t the end :( So glad you are better!! LOve the beautiful pasta tower! Looks yummy!

    • Thank you, Jenna! Hope you had an amazing time in Antigua. My parents honeymooned there :)

  26. My husband just called this pasta FANTASTICAL. I agree. Your recipes are always spot on delicious! (except those daring cooker ones I’m too afraid to try!)

    • FANTASTICAL is my kind of word, I’m thrilled that you and your husband liked it and thank you for the kind words. As for the Daring Cooks posts, yes, a little ambitious, but it made me try stuff I normally wouldn’t have given a thought to. I hope to get back into it soon :)

  27. Glad to see you posting again! I’m sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well and hope you have completely recovered. As others have already commented, you are a wonderful writer–I was happy to see another installment.

  28. I am sooooo delighted you are back! Your culinary creations are beautiful, and this story has just hooked me in. Glad you are feeling up to posting again and wishing you a full recovery!

    • Thank you so much, Heather! You’re too kind xo I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story and thank you for your sweet sentiment xoxo.

  29. We came for the pasta and now all of the women and one very sensitive guy on my office floor are in the middle of reading your story. We’re so hooked! You must write more stories! Please don’t give it up!

    • Wow, that’s amazing to hear, Deborah, thank you! As for writing more, I’m not a writer, just a memory rambler, but I’ll try and ramble up some more if things get better. xo

  30. Hi Lisa,

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  31. You really have a gift for storytelling. I couldn’t stop reading once I started, and now I’m dying for more! I’m living in China temporarily, but I’m from Philly, so I have Jersey Shore memories too, particularly Wildwood Crest! This story really brings me back home. Pleeeaaase make that darn recipe work so you can post it!! :>D

    • Thank you, Sharon! I know it’s probably tough being so far from home, but China..wow. Would love to visit one day! That said, we went to Wildwood Crest when I was around 9 or 10. I remember we stayed at some Hawaiian motel right off the beach, and across from the Singapore motel. Lots of cool accommodations there!

  32. Missed you so much. And hope you will just get better and better to 100% health wise. The dish looks just scrumptious. And the story, all I can say right now is : men!

  33. I found a flank steak recipe and a story last night on pinterest! Unfortunately my children ended up with hamburger helper :( and I read the best story I have read in along time:) with a bonus of recipes for later! Im signed up and will check back often! Please finish your story soon! And thank you for writing a great story from the heart!

    • Valerie, I grew up on Hamburger Helper and loved it! I’m betting your kids love it too! That said, I’m so flattered that you’ve enjoyed my story up to this point. No thanking me, thank YOU for making my day. I should have the end up this week, so you have extra time to prepare the steak, which is really out of the world :) xoxo

  34. I’d like to echo all of the above, please. What an amazing and captivating story! You brought back all of those feelings of first love and then some. I just wanted to say I’ve loved your blog for some time because it’s real…no hidden agendas, just amazing recipes and writing. Thank you for bravely sharing this story and thank you for the many delicious meals that have become a part of my recipe rotation forever!

    • Aww, you also made my day, Trisha. Thank you so much for your kind words, It makes me so happy when what I write and/or make touches one’s heart and belly. xoxo

  35. I happened upon your blog today through a pinterest link for a salad dressing (I think–it was so long ago) and ended up reading the entire BBFL story for hours! I’m so glad I happened upon it when it is nearly complete so I didn’t have to wait between installments. I tend to be a binge reader, anyway. Anxious for Part 23!

    • I’m a binge reader too and just so happen to be going through the same thing on another blog, so I know just how you feel and hate that I always do this. Things just keep happening when least expected. In any event, trying for tomorrow :)

  36. I also found you by way of pinterest and boy am I glad I did. I just made your “bad boy” sticky buns and they are out of this world! But, this story. Wow. I just finished part 22 after reading all night. I love how you seamlessly transition from the innocent, puppy love thoughts of a 15 year old to the complicated, deeper thoughts and decisions you face as adult. Beautifully done! Need part 23 soon!

    • Michelle, I had to travel back to my ’15 year old self’ to remember every detail/feeling. I’m so flattered by your comment..thank you :)

  37. Okay . . . I am definitely not prepared to wait six months for the final installment. Please post it. I’m quite confident it is detailed enough.

    • Can you wait 24 hours? ;) It will be up tomorrow.

  38. Where’s the next installment?? I just found your blog and have read all of the previous posts in one day. I need to know what happened! : )

    • duh…Im so lame. I just realized the first post that I found was actually part 23. SOO happy. I was going to go crazy not knowing what happened. Thank you for making my work day much more tolerable. :)

      • You’re so welcome, leah! I think I need to categorize it better! Will figure something out, like maybe a section just for the story, or something :)

  39. I love you

  40. Hello, I’m new to your blog, but just spent the last 6 hours binge reading your incredible story…..you are such a good writer! I have to know how this ends..,,

  41. I hope you’ll be back to baking soon! I miss you and your marvelous creations. This pasta looks terrific (and the even the picky daughter would love it :))

  42. The good thing about blogging is that we’re our own bosses, right?!! When I started I posted every day. Then 5 days a week, and now twice. I’ve deleted most of those daily posts! I just must have felt that I had so much to say!!! This is one beautiful pasta.

  43. Hope you are feeling better each day. This sounds delicious. I will try it this weekend!

    • Thank you so much, Kathy, your sweet and caring thoughts are so appreciated. xo Let me know how the pasta turns out for you, and if you run into any problems, let me know and I’ll get back to you ASAP :)


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