This colorful pasta dish has been on restaurant menus as far back as I can remember. Patrons love the two-tone pasta, crispy peas, prosciutto bits, and creamy sauce. Your family and guests will ask for second helpings every time. But, as traditional as this dish is, feel free to change the vegetables according to seasons; for example, I love adding fava beans in the spring, corn in the summer, mushrooms in the fall, and cooked chestnuts in the winter.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Trim the roots, tips, and any yellow or wilted leaves from the scallions. Cut them in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 3-inch lengths. Cut the scallion pieces lengthwise into thin strips.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions, and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Scatter in the peas and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the prosciutto, and toss until it changes color, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the sauce to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the heavy cream, and continue to simmer until the liquid is lightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir the pasta into the salted boiling water. Return to a boil, and cook the pasta until al dente. Fish the pasta out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer, and add it directly to the sauce in the skillet, stirring to coat the pasta with sauce. Cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced enough to form a creamy sauce. Remove from the heat, toss in the grated cheese, and serve immediately in warm bowls.
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Excerpted from Lidia's Favorite Recipes by Lidia Bastianich. Copyright © 2012 by Tutti a Tavola, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Lidia Bastianich is a chef who frequently appears on television, an author and restaurateur. Her cookbooks include Lidia’s Italy in America, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy and Lidia’s Italy. Lidia is the chef/owner of four New York City restaurants—Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto—as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City. She is also founder and president of the entertainment company Tavola Productions.