Reginette pasta with prosciutto and leeks
- 11 oz reginette pasta
- 11 oz prosciutto cotto (cooked ham) , cut into 2 slices
- 2 leeks
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup bechamel
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Clean the leeks by removing the green part.
Cut them in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/10-inch strips.
Then, cut the ham into ½-inch cubes. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a fairly large pan and saute the leeks for a minute.
Add the diced ham and fry for 3 minutes, stirring. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the wine and let evaporate over high heat for 3 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce is smooth.
Reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente: reserve a cup of cooking water.
Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce pan. Also add a couple tbsp of cooking water.
Cook over medium heat: add the beschamel, stirring for a few moments, and finally add the Parmigiano Reggiano.
The leek is a fairly close relative of the onion, even though it has a more delicate flavor. Leeks are one of the few ingredients that were considered a fundamental source of nutrition during periods of famine of the Middle Ages. Actually, leeks have been consumed since ancient times: even if we do not have the exact date of when they discovered, there is no doubt that they were cultivated already 4,000 years ago along the banks of the Nile, as illustrated in the hieroglyphics inside the pyramids.
Even the workers who built the giant buildings ate, among other things, leeks and onions.
From the Nile Valley, leeks spread to the Mediterranean coasts, becoming extremely popular in ancient Rome, where the Roman Emperor Nero was given the nickname “il porrofago” (or leek eater) for his habit of eating a lot of leeks to clear his voice.
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