Dinner / Pasta

Tomato, Olive and Prosciutto Pasta with Butter Sauce

I love this pasta dish because it comes together in about 20 minutes and is made in one pot. And it looks fancy! This pasta dish is somehow both light and rich. The lack of a lot of tomato sauce makes it lighter than a traditional spaghetti dinner, but the butter in the sauce really shines through and gives it a rich melt-in-your-mouth taste. Before you get too worried, this dish only has 3 tablespoons of butter for a pound of pasta.

I use two tricks I thought I would share for keeping prosciutto and tomato paste on hand. I started freezing leftover tomato paste in plastic bags since most dishes only use half of the can of tomato paste. I spread the paste flat in the bag so that I can break off frozen chunks and defrost to add to a recipe. I also freeze prosciutto (divided with deli or wax paper). You can separate the slices of prosciutto by peeling apart the paper (while still frozen) and chop and add directly to most recipes.

Pasta with butter sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of dry pasta (organic whole wheat)
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup white wine (dry, not too fruity)
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 3 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped flat leafed parsley, for garnish
  • 8 oz prosciutto, roughly chopped or torn
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Bring water to a boil; add pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water for the sauce.
  3. Reusing pot, set heat to medium and add olive oil. When oil is shimmering add garlic and shallots. Saute 1-2 minutes until translucent.
  4. Add wine and cook for 2-3 minutes to evaporate alcohol.
  5. Add butter in 1 tablespoon sections to cook more quickly.
  6. When butter is melted add tomato paste and stir until incorporated.
  7. Add olives and tomatoes
  8. Add strained pasta back to pot and stir to coat pasta in the sauce. Add reserved pasta water one tablespoon at a time if sauce is too thick
  9. Add prosciutto, parsley, and salt and pepper (to taste).
  10. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese

Variations:

  • Fresh chopped basil instead of parsley
  • Add panko or whole wheat bread crumbs
  • Add peas
  • Add red pepper flakes to spice it up
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