During the years that I worked as a Restaurant Chef one thing I learned right away was to make all the every course on your menu interesting. Too many times all the emphasis is placed on entree’s which is great if all you want to sell are entree’s, but to be successful you need to interest your guests in more than just an entree, not only does that give your guest a more memorable evening as they savor the different flavors presented to them, it also adds more to the check which helps ensure the success of the restaurant.
One of my favorite courses has always been the Primi Piatti , first course, or in Italy the Pasta Course. This is where you can really make the meal interesting. There are so many different pasta shapes and types to choose from and so many wonderful sauces that the combinations are limitless. If your only choices are a marinara or a meat sauce, well it’s time to find a new restaurant.
One restaurant I opened had a wonderful pasta menu, even allowing you to choose two different pasta’s in a sampler. One of the most popular pasta’s that I made was simply Called Capellini D’angelo Roma. When I wrote the menu for the restaurant the owner had given me the name of the dish and an idea of what it should be, but no recipe and nothing really to go by but instinct. All he knew was it had peas and prosciutto in it and wasn’t a heavy red sauce. As I worked with the recipe it came together perfectly, it had a subtle tomato flavor without the heaviness of a full cream sauce, nicely balanced with the prosciutto and sweet peas. I do have to admit I have never been a fan of Capellini, but that is how the owner had originally been served the dish in Rome and that’s how he wanted it. The sauce itself goes together in about 10 minutes, and is a nice change from a heavier sauce, if you do give it a try, feel free to change up the pasta, or to even serve it with Ravioli. I know you’ll enjoy it!
- 2 Cup Crushed Tomatoes – San Marzano
- 2 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 Cup Chicken Stock
- 1 cup grated Romano Cheese
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 12 oz mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup sweet baby peas
- 4 oz prosciutto (cut into strips)
- 1 pound Capellini, or the pasta of your choice
- black pepper to taste
- ½ tsp granulated garlic
- ½ tsp granulated onion
- Additional Romano Cheese to serve with dish
- in a sauce pot add the olive oil and mushroom and sautee mushrooms till tender
- add the crushed tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes
- add the chicken stock, and heavy cream, mix well
- add romano cheese, granulated garlic, onion and black pepper, making sure everything is well blended in the sauce, then turn down heat and allow to simmer and reduce to thicken the sauce for about 10 minutes
- remove from heat
- boil water per directions for pasta and cook pasta
- when pasta is 3-4 minutes from being done, place sauce back on medium heat and add peas and prosciutto to sauce, allow to simmer until pasta is ready.*
- then serve immediately
We enjoyed this pasta as a side dish along side of some fresh Fluke I had gotten earlier in the day, it was a nice compliment to the fresh fish, not too heavy but filling. I do think that next time I will try it over spaghetti, but that’s just my preference, I also think you won’t need as much sauce with a thicker pasta. I think this is the first time I have ever seen Lisa eat peas too! I guess it was too much work to pick around them, especially with capellini!
I hope you enjoyed this episode of Inside my Restaurant Kitchen, I will be featuring some of my favorite sauces from time to time, giving some nice alternatives to marinara!
Till next time, Ciao!