Alfred Portale, the chef-owner of New York City's Gotham Bar and Grill, says, "My earliest memory of my mother's kitchen is helping her do tasks, like making pasts." This dish from his mother's repertoire is prefect when fresh peas are in season, especially if you can also get the tender shoots, or leaves.
4 ounces prosciutto di Parma, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1/4 -inch dice
1 1/2 cups loosely packed pea shoots or 1-inch pieces of arugula
4 large ripe plum tomatoespeeled, seeded and cut into 1/4 -inch dice
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 pound farfalle
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
In a small saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the fresh peas just until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a serving bowl, combine the prosciutto, peas, pea shoots, tomatoes and 6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Combine the butter, garlic, lemon juice, pepper, and thyme and beat until blended.
Cook the farfalle in the boiling water until al dente, about 15 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the prosciutto and peas and dot with the garlic butter. Toss well, adding enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to melt the cheese. Sprinkle the chives on top and season with salt and white pepper. Serve at once. Pass extra cheese separately.
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