Pappardelle with Peas and Prosciutto

This pasta dish wins on several levels:  it is delicious, simple to prepare, and beautiful on the table! I cooked it in a large copper bottom saute pan and served it in the same pan. Add a loaf of crusty French bread and a simple green salad.

Pappardelle with Peas and Prosciutto

16 ounces Pappardelle

4 ounces chopped prosciutto

2 cups frozen peas

4 Tablespoons butter

1 cup Greek Yogurt (use sour cream if you prefer)

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt

pepper

ground nutmeg

coarsely shredded or flaked Parmesan cheese to pass at serving

Assemble all ingredients. This dish is quickly prepared, so you want to have everything you need ready.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce.

In a saute pan, combine yogurt, cream, and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring. As soon as the mixture is hot, turn off heat and season to taste with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Put peas in a colander, set over sink. When pasta is ready to drain, pour the boiling pasta water over the peas, then add peas to cream mixture. Finish draining pasta in the same colander, then add to the pan along with prosciutto. Toss to coat with sauce. Serve from the pan and pass grated Parmesan at the table.

 

 

 

Greek Meat Balls (Keftedes)

Keftedes

Last week’s Greek soup led me to another Greek dish I have wanted to try: Greek Meatballs, or Keftedes.  Since a couple of family members are eating gluten free, I experimented with using Gluten Free bread crumbs and Gluten Free flour for dredging. The flavor was wonderful, but I think the gluten free items made the meat mixture a little looser, and also a bit harder to brown. I hope to try these again and see if my theory is correct. I will also try the optional cooking method, baking the meatballs in a very hot oven.

My favorite ingredients, and the things that added unique flavor to these meatballs were the fresh herbs added to the meat mixture (mint and parsley).  I also made homemade Tzatziki sauce which was a perfect addition to the plate of meatballs and warm flatbread.  Tzatziki recipe coming up next week!

Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 egg

2 large onions, finely chopped in food processor

1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

1/2 cup frresh mint, minced

2 heaping Tablespoons Penzey’s Greek seasoning (optional: 2 Tablespoons dried oregano)

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

 

Oil for frying

flour for dredging

Combine all ingredients except the cooking oil and flour in a very large bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients, folding over from the bottom and kneading for about 5 minutes. The mixture should be smooth and well combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 2-3 hours.  Shape meat into ball, dredge in flour and place on a parchment or foil covered baking sheet.  In a heavy skillet (I used 2 iron skillets), heat enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan, adding more as needed. Cook the meatballs in batches, uncrowded in the skillet, reducing the heat to medium during cooking. I found that 10-12 meatballs at a time worked best. Brown well on both sides, making sure they are well cooked through. Remove to paper towel covered baking sheet and repeat the process until all meatballs have been cooked. Serve as an appetizer, or on a platter with a stack of flatbread as an entree.  Makes at least 4 dozen meatballs. Optional method of cooking:  Preheat oven to 450 degrees and bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for about 20 minutes or well browned.