What’s for Dinner?
Fig and Prosciutto Penne
A classic Italian pairing
-Francine Segan, author of ©The Opera Lover’s Cookbook (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) FrancineSegan.com
Figs and prosciutto are a classic Italian pairing. The flavors are perfect with pasta, too, and it makes a pasta special enough to serve at a holiday buffets.
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 cup white wine
16 to 18 dried Calimyrna figs, about 12 ounces, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 pound penne
1/4 pound prosciutto di Parma, sliced
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon whole pink peppercorns
Heat the butter and oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat until the butter melts. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the wine and figs and simmer until the wine is absorbed and the figs soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the stock and pink peppercorns and simmer, covered, for about 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and let rest, covered, while you prepare the penne.
Cook the penne according to package directions. Drain and toss with the fig sauce.
Serve the penne topped with Parmesan, prosciutto, and a sprinkle of peppercorns.
Note: You’ll notice that I didn’t add the usual tag line, “Season to taste with salt and pepper. ” That’s because the dish gets enough salt from the Parmesan and enough heat from the pink peppercorns.