As you might be aware, I particularly like posting recipes using homegrown produce. This one is a recipe from my father for his homegrown produce, complete with growing tips, that I am finally cooking because I’ve managed to grow my first two tromboncini! I live in a cooler climate than dad, so next year I will definitely plant earlier and grow on a trellis, though it’s good to know they will crop through until April even here.
A couple of changes – as I am cooking for teenagers who are not modest eaters I almost quadrupled the pasta to 375g and doubled the proscuitto. Otherwise it’s all dad 🙂
Pappardelle with Tromboncini and Prosciutto
(the quantities below are what I cook for your mum and me. We aren’t big eaters.)
3 small tromboncini (stem only, no bulb) or 3 zucchini (600g)
100g dried pappardelle (Adjust quantity for fresh)
3 slices of prosciutto (40g)(pancetta doesn’t work, it’s hopeless)
8g garlic (4 cloves)
20ml olive oil
40g mascarpone (cream works too)
Slice prosciutto into 20mm strips.
Trim vegetables each end, then slice full length on mandolin, 3mm thick strips. (They tend to stick together, so coating them after slicing with a little olive oil helps to separate them later in the frying pan)
Start to cook pappardelle in well salted water. For dried, it will take about 12 minutes.
At the 6 minute mark, begin to fry prosciutto, medium heat, in butter oil mixture in a large pan. Fry until they are starting to get crisp, then add crushed garlic. Fry until garlic is just about to turn brown, then add oiled, sliced vegetables. They will take up a lot of room in the pan, and have to be turned constantly to cook evenly. As they cook they will become more translucent and much more flexible.
When almost cooked, add mascarpone, mix through and increase heat. Add white pepper. At this point the pappardelle should be cooked. Drain quickly and add to the reducing sauce in the pan. The idea is to reduce the mascarpone/cream so that there is no liquid left in the bottom of the pan but everything is coated with sauce.
Serve with shaved parmesan.
This is probably our favourite dish.
Tromboncini are the best for this dish because all the seeds are in a bulb at one end, so by just using the stalk, you can avoid the variations in texture that you get with zuchini, which are always a bit softer in the middle where the seeds are. They still taste pretty good though.
Also we have found it very hard to grow zucchini because they are very vulnerable to fungal diseases in this climate. Tromboncini grow as fast as pumpkins, producing new growth fast enough to stay ahead of the fungus. But, like pumpkins, they take up a lot of room in the garden.