Thank you Marta for sharing another simple Italian recipe with us! It’s a delicious, decadent pasta that takes me straight to Tuscany when I eat it. It’s rich and creamy. Once you learn how to make this béchamel sauce, Marta says you can add it to meat ragu to make lasagna, Eggs Fiorentina style, or other Tuscan preparations. Its the first sauce (of the 5 mother sauces) we learn in culinary school, so it took me right back to those scary first days in school.
The recipe starts with making a béchamel sauce and then you add some prosciutto ham to it. Its so similar to mac n cheese, it’s gotta be a kid-pleaser.
Penne alla fiesolana (f-ee-EH-s-oh-lan-a)
Ingredients (2-3 ppl):
– 1 Tbsp. flour
– 1 Tbsp. butter
– 1 cup milk + a few tbsp.
– 2-3 cups penne pasta
– 1-2 oz. prosciutto, cut in thin strips
– 1 spoon Parmesan cheese
– Olive oil
– salt & pepper
1. Begin with a small pot to make the béchamel sauce. Melt butter in pan without browning. Add the flour in and mix with a spatula a few seconds just until it clumps.
2. Slowly add milk into the pot at a low heat. Switch to using a whisk for this step. Stir continuously and then add a little more milk. Don’t add it all at once or it will clump.
3. Cook at a low heat for a couple minutes, whisking constantly. The mixture should thicken and coat the back of a spoon. Add salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Set aside and take off the the heat. Add parmesan and stir in. (it thickens more as it cools so don’t over thicken)
4. Meanwhile, boil the pasta.
5. In a medium saute pan, heat a tsp or so of olive oil and heat the prosciutto until it’s melted a little (a few seconds). Turn off the heat and set aside until pasta is done.
6. Once pasta is done (save some pasta water before draining).
7. Add béchamel sauce into the pan with the prosciutto and add the pasta. Toss on a low heat until pasta is coated with sauce. Add a little bit of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick or it sits and you need to reheat it.
8. Serve immediately and top with chopped parsley.