The night before, I decided to make a nice, hearty pasta dish to “carbo-load” in preparation for our arduous walk. I turned to my reliable recipe resource “Savor the Moment” and decided on Penne alla Siciliana (pg. 202). With prosciutto, peas, fresh chives and Parmesan cheese it’s essentially a one pot meal and what’s not to love about those ingredients? It sounded like just the right pre-race dinner! I had to include the recipe below for those of you who may have upcoming races to prepare for.
I must confess, we also had a glass (or two) of red wine with our pasta – Diane was on vacation after all! We went with a Spanish red, the 2006 Bodegas Bilbainas Tempranillo Rioja Viña Zaco. With its nice tannins and flavors of black cherry, blackberry and smoky chocolate oak, it paired very nicely with our pasta dish. This wine is made from 100% Tempranillo grapes and aged in both American and French oak in order to achieve the perfect expression of fruit and freshness. Dubbed a "modern interpretation" of Rioja, this tasty and versatile wine was also featured in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2009. It received a 90 point rating and at $15-17 per bottle is great buy!
Penne alla Siciliana
16 ounces uncooked penne
4 ounces prosciutto, julienned
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion, minced
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup beef stock
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Cook the pasta al dente using the package directions; keep warm. Saute the prosciutto in the olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter, onion, peas, chives, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat until the onion is tender. Add the beef stock and prosciutto. Cook until heated through.
Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce in a bowl; toss gently to mix well. Top with the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve immediately. Serves six.
After crossing the finish line we headed over to ER Bradley's Saloon to toast the brave lady who, once again, successfully completed the entire walk (and maybe also to remedy a few aches and pains.) Of course I like to think the Penne alla Siciliana played some small part in our completing the 5K with such gusto! It was a beautiful day and we were all so happy to have participated in such a meaningful event with a lady we love so much. Cheers, Diane, we're already looking forward to 2011!