4 servings: • 350 grams of "radiatori" or other pasta • 1 bunch (1 kg) asparagus • 4 very thin slices of prosciutto di Parma or San Daniele, with the fat • 2 tablespoons of extravirgin olive oil • 1 garlic clove • a pinch of dried majoram • salt and pepper • Optional: grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Simply made up with whatever I had handy in the fridge for a quick dinner.
1. Remove the hard bottoms of the asparagus by holding the stalk in the middle and at the bottom and breaking off the hardest part. With a sharp knife, remove the hard laves on the stalk and scrape a bit. Was the asparagus. Cut them sideways in 1 inches + pieces.
2. Set a large pot of water (at least 4.5 liters) on the fire, place a lid and wait for it to start boiling. When the water starts boiling, add a large pinch of salt, wait for it to dissolve and add the pasta, stirring to keep it from sticking. Cook acording to packet instructions, or until extremely al dente (a tiny bit of the white core must still be visible).
3. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the garlic clove peeled and cut in two parts and the prosciutto shredded in pieces by hand. This recipe uses very little oil and the fat from the prosciutto, but if you have a Tuscan or Umbrian prosciutto instead of the Parma or San Daniele, remove the fat, which is too salty, and use one tablespoon more of oil. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the asparagus stalks to the pan, reserving the tips for later, stir fry for a moment, than add one cup of water from the pasta pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, not allowing the water to dry out. After this time, add the tips, a pinch of salt (very little, the prosciutto will add its saltynesss), a pinch of dried majoram and a pinch of black pepper.
5. Drain the pasta when ready, reserving a bit more of its water if needed, and add it to the pan, stirring and simmering on for a couple of minutes. Serve immediately. If you like it, add a tablespoon of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to the pan before serving and stir to distribute it evenly.