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Emmanuel's Pasta, Peas, Prosciutto and Onion


  • 1 pound cellantani (corkscrew shaped pasta with lines), or other lined pasta

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 can diced tomatoes in juice (28 ounces)

  • 1 can tomato sauce or tomato puree (8 ounces)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/4 pound prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced at deli counter, then cut into thin strips (ask if they will cut it into strips for you at the deli counter to save time)

  • 1 cup frozen green peas (a couple of handfuls)

  • 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn, plus a few leaves to garnish

  • Grated Pecorino Romano, for passing


Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat for pasta. When water comes to a boil, add salt to water and cook pasta to al dente (with a bite to it).

In a large, deep skillet, pre-heated over moderate heat, add EVOO, about two times around the pan in a slow stream, and cook garlic, onion and crushed pepper for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and sauce or puree to the pan. When tomatoes come to a bubble, reduce heat to simmer. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain well and set near stove. Sprinkle ribbons of sliced prosciutto and the green peas into the sauce. Stir to combine and heat peas through. Toss pasta with sauce and shredded basil. Keep turning pasta in sauce until basil wilts and pasta begins to absorb sauce, about one minute. Transfer pasta to a serving platter and garnish with a few whole basil leaves.

Serve with salad and grated cheese, for passing.