I haven’t posted a pasta recipe in awhile. But this one is well worth the wait, I promise. As you may have noticed in the title, I’m using sparkling wine in this dish. If you know me at all, you know that sparkling wine (Prosecco, Cava, Champagne…I don’t discriminate) is my all-time favorite. Drinking it makes me feel happy and fancy and happy another time. My husband is very wise and knows that if I’ve had a bad day, he better show up with a Bottle-o-Bub if he wants to survive the evening.
So using bubbly in my pasta sauce is a big step for me. But I have to confess that I had about 1/2 a bottle of Cava in the fridge from awhile back that wasn’t very fizzy anymore, so this was the perfect use for it. So I didn’t really sacrifice some of my bubbles for my dinner. But funny enough, I was sipping on another bottle while I was making this! (It’s an absolute perfect wine pairing, by the way…)
Now, obviously I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a bottle of Taittinger to make your pasta sauce. Use any of the lovely $10-$15 sparkles like a Prosecco from Italy, which tends to be more fruity or a Spanish Cava which usually is a bit dryer in style. But I thought champagne in the title just sounded so much prettier…plus, it got your attention didn’t it?
This pasta dish is filling but still remains light because it’s not overly sauced. It’s one of those dishes that doesn’t need a whole lot of extra finesse because you’re using such wonderfully flavored ingredients to begin with.
I highly suggest all of you make this sometime very soon, it’s delicious!
*Spaghetti with Champagne, Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella
-In a large stockpot, cook 8 oz pasta (your choice of shape, but I used whole wheat spaghetti) in boiling, salted water until just before al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
-In the same pot, heat a little olive oil on medium high heat. Add 3-4 ounces of prosciutto, sliced (this is the size you would find pre-sliced in the gourmet cheese section of your store). Cook until crispy, remove to drain on a paper towel.
-Add a bit more olive oil and add 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced, and 1 small sprig of rosemary, leaves minced. (Don’t allow the garlic to brown!!)
-Pour in about 1 cup of sparkling wine, a pinch of kosher salt, some fresh cracked pepper and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Allow this to bubble and reduce a bit.
-Add in 1/2 cup of your reserved pasta water and 1 TB of unsalted butter and continue to simmer.
-Once the butter has melted, stir and taste your sauce. Check seasoning. If it tastes too much like wine, reduce it more and then you may need to add more pasta water later.
-Add your cooked pasta to your sauce, along with several handfuls of frozen peas, and all but a few pieces of your crispy prosciutto.
-Toss well to coat the pasta with the sauce and allow it to soak it up.
-Add the zest of half a lemon and 8 oz of fresh mozzarella perline (this is the size of the tubs of fresh mozzarella in the gourmet cheese section. ‘Perline’ refers to the small, pearl-sized balls, but use whatever you can find.)
-Toss well and allow the cheese to begin to melt.
-Plate immediately or you will get mozzarella stuck to the bottom of your pan.
-Garnish with some freshly cracked black pepper, a small squirt of fresh lemon juice, and the rest of your crispy prosciutto.
(This meal sounds extra fancy, but because I use these TIPS it only set me back $13 for the entire 4 servings…that’s $3.25 per person!!)