Rigatoni with smoked gouda, prosciutto and peas


I am very proud of this dish I put together a few years ago. Of course, it is a bit rich so I keep it for special occasions. The smokiness of the cheese is very nicely complemented by the sweetness of the peas. It is important to prepare the sauce before you cook the pasta to let the flavors combine. Add the cheese off the heat and do not let the sauce boil after this point or it will develop a grainy texture.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely diced
100 g prosciutto, diced
375 ml (1 1/2 cup) heavy cream (or light cooking cream)
200 g smoked gouda, grated
1/3 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp grated parmesan
454 g (1 pound) rigatoni
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet and cook the onion until it is soft and translucent, a few minutes.
2. Add the prosciutto and cook for one or two minutes, until it starts to crisp on the edges.
3. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes and turn the heat off.
4. Off the heat, add the gouda and stir well until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the peas and the parmesan and stir everything together. Set aside.
5. Cook the rigatoni according to the instructions on the package. Drain well but do not rinse.
6. Bring the sauce back to temperature over medium heat. Mix well with the pasta. Add a few grindings of black pepper and taste. It might not need additional salt. Serve at once in warm bowls.

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