Garganelli with Prosciutto and Peas

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garganelli pasta with prosciutto and peas

This recipe can come together in a matter of minutes. In the restaurant, I like to add in arugula at the end of cooking so that it wilts in the pan, and then garnish the finished plate with arugula flowers for an added dimension and a little spiciness. But really, it’s the kind of dish that shouldn’t be tweaked too much, because it’s so straightforward. Just let it float. For that same reason, buy the best ingredients you can for this dish, because simplicity often exposes the quality of your ingredients, for better and worse.

{Editor's note: You can find Rustichella D'Abruzzo Garganelli in Bay Area specialty stores. Canyon Market, Bi-Rite Market and Bryan's Market  are just a few that stock it in San Francisco, as well as Market Hall Foods in Oakland. Swap out penne for the garganelli if your local store doesn't carry it.}

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Serves 4


  • For the Pea Puree
  • 5 ounces English peas
  • ½ cup pea shoots
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • About ¼ cup water
  • Kosher salt
  • For the Pasta
  • Dried penne, ziti or look for Rustichella D'Abruzzo brand Garganelli
  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil 
  • 3 ounces diced prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon minced green garlic, or 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1½ ounces spring onions, diced into 1/8-inch pieces
  • 1½ cups chicken stock 
  • 5½ ounces shelled English peas
  • 4 tablespoons butter, chilled 
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • Juice of ½ lemon 
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for finishing
  • 20 arugula flowers, stemmed, for garnish (optional)


  1. 1. To make the puree, cook the peas and shoots in boiling salted water until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath and cool completely, about 2 minutes. Remove the peas from the water and store, refrigerated, until ready to use. 
  2. 2. Put the peas and shoots in the jar of a blender. Add the milk and begin to puree. Add just enough water, roughly ¼ cup, to achieve a smooth puree. Season with salt. You should have about 2 cups.
  3. 3. To prepare, bring a large pot of seasoned (salted) water to a boil. 
  4. 4. Heat a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the olive oil and heat until it gently ripples on the surface of the pan. Add the prosciutto. It should sizzle the moment it hits the pan. You want to brown it a bit without making it crispy, about 1 minute. This step will infuse the oil with the prosciutto flavor, which will permeate the entire dish. 
  5. 5. Add the green garlic and spring onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent, about 5 minutes. You want to keep stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.
  6. 6. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil over medium heat, and allow the stock to begin to reduce. If using homemade garganelli, you want the stock to begin boiling in the pan before you drop the pasta in the water. If using store-bought dried penne you should add the pasta to the water when you begin cooking the proscuitto. 
  7. 7. Increase the heat under the sauté pan to medium-high and bring the stock to a boil. Cook about 1 minute. Add the peas to warm through. Once the pasta is cooked 80 percent through, until almost al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes if using homemade gargamelli, add it to the pan. Cook in the pan for about 2 minutes. Add the butter and the pea puree and vigorously swirl the pan to create an emulsion. We want to keep reducing until the sauce coats the noodle.
  8. 8. Turn off the heat and gently fold in the arugula. Toss the pasta to incorporate the arugula. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
  9. 9. To serve, divide the pasta and sauce between four plates. Garnish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, sprinkle with arugula flowers, if using, and serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from  Flour + Water: Pasta
by Thomas McNaughton and Paolo Lucchesi (Random House, © 2014).

Article from Edible San Francisco at
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