Pasta PrimaveraSunday was a miserable rainy day and I was miserable after another failed attempt at making French Macarons.  To be honest, the cookies were really good so I have decided to just say I made Almond Macarons instead.  It’s a good deal for my sanity I think.

Anyway, I emailed some friends early as I knew it was going to rain all day and invited them over for dinner and a movie.  Something simple, super tasty and relatively easy.  I really wanted a pasta dish so skimmed through a few of my recipe books and fell on a recipe for Tagliatelle with Fava Beans. 

After donning my wellington boots and running to the store for my ingredients I was disappointed to find they didn’t have Fava beans and I just didn’t want to go anywhere else on this horrible day.  Oh well, let’s improvise I thought.  What goes well with prosciutto and mascarpone?  Peas, even better sweet peas and I was right!  This dish was a super delicious friend pleaser.  

Tagliatelle with Sweet Peas, Mascarpone and Prosciutto 
Adapted from a William-Sonoma Pasta Recipe

Serves 4


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 leeks, white portion only, cut into thin rounds
1lb Frozen Sweet Peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried nutmeg
1 cup chicken stock
1 lb. fresh tagliatelle
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into narrow strips
2 teaspoon basil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the peas, salt, pepper and nutmeg and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer until the beans are just tender to the bite, about three minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot two-thirds full of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the pasta and cook until tender, 1 to 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the mascarpone and lemon zest, stirring until the cheese is melted. (High heat can make mascarpone separate.)

Drain the pasta and transfer to a warmed large, bowl. Add the peas mixture and toss briefly.  Add the prosciutto, basil and about 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately and pass the remaining cheese at the table. 

We did have the “Almond Macarons” for dessert and everyone thought they were very good.