Thursday, 19 January 2012

Runner bean & prosciutto pasta

Like a schmuck, I took one look at my husband's crestfallen face when I announced that he was getting last night's Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya for tea and hot-footed it out the door to the chippie for him.  But because I'm still trying to be good and even though it was a running day and I resisted and changed my plans for my recipe of the day.

I was going to make a plum croute out of the plums that the child snuck into her shopping basket at Sainsburys on Tuesday night but instead, plumped for the Runner Bean and Prosciutto pasta I happened across on Good Food the other day when looking for a way to use up the prosciutto I bought for Christmas that never got used.

I must confess, I'm starting to rely on the Good Food website a little too much for this blog.  But it's so easy.  Rather than having to leaf through twenty different cookbooks to find what to do with the contents of my fridge, I just type a few words in the box and back comes the suggestion.  As mitigation, I do subscribe to the magazine and would leaf through the old issues in the same manner I do with my cookbooks, if only the husband didn't insist on throwing old magazines away.

Bacon, beans and pasta.  Mmmm....bacon!!
Anyhoo, this is a really simple supper to make after a hectic day in the office and something I will cook again on one of those days when I've been up since the crack of sparrow-fart.   The first few bites were disappointingly bland.  After all, pasta with creme fraiche, runner beans (not the tastiest of vegetables) and lashings of black pepper is hardly going to set the world on fire.

But then comes the lovely, salty, bacony bite of the crispy prosciutto.  Class.  It works perfectly against the bland background.  I think the only change I would make would be to make my prosciutto pieces smaller next time - either before cooking or by bashing them up once they are cooked - to spread them more evenly throughout the pasta.  I note the recipe mentions pouring over the pan juices.  There were none in my pan so maybe the presence of some would've balanced the blandness of the pasta versus the saltiness of the prosciutto out more.  It might be because I only used a tiny bit of oil for frying to keep the calorie content down.  Will try a bit more next time.

And I can highly recommend it with the crunchy bits from the bottom of the chip packet on the side.  Hubby refuses to eat anything crunchy which is my favourite bit.  No wonder we rub along okay even though we're often at polar opposites of opinion.  Just call us Jack and Mrs Spratt (although I can't stand fatty meat!!)

Recipe - Serves 2

  • 175g tagliatelle (I used spaghetti)
  • 200g runner beans , trimmed and cut into short lengths
  • 3 slices prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 rounded tbsp half-fat crème fraîche

  1. Cook the tagliatelle in a large pan of boiling, salted water according to pack instructions. Four mins before the end of the cooking time, add the runner beans.
  2. Meanwhile, cut each slice of prosciutto into 5-6 pieces. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the ham, then fry quickly until crisp. Drain the pasta and return to the pan with the crème fraîche, prosciutto, pan juices and plenty of black pepper, tossing everything together until the pasta is well coated.

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