Linguini with Basil, Roasted Pine Nuts and a Crunchy Topping
1 pound linguine
3/4 cup olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 ounces bunch fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 ounces Parmesan, coarsely grated (or Pecorino Romano)
4 ounces Parmesan, shaved
2.5 ounces Parmesan, finely grated for topping
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup bread crumbs, unflavored
3 ounces Procsciutto, thinly sliced and chopped into 3/8 inch squares
Prepare the toppings:
Dice the Prosciutto into 3/8 inch squares. Fry in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.
Using the same sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted and hot, add the bread crumbs stirring continuously to combine well with the butter. Cook the bread crumbs until browned stirring continuously to avoid scorching. Reduce heat to low. Add the finely grated Parmesan. Stir until completely incorporated and melted. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a second dry sauté pan, roast the pine nuts over medium-high heat stirring frequently to avoid burning. Set aside.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan and set aside.
Prepare the linguini:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then add the linguine. While the pasta is cooking, pour the olive oil into a large frying pan and add the garlic. Cook over medium heat until the garlic starts to turn light brown and fragrant. Remove the cloves from the pan and take the pan off the heat. Roughly chop or shred the basil leaves, set aside. When the pasta is al dente, drain it well, and toss it in the garlic-infused olive oil and then transfer to a warm bowl and sprinkle with the coarsely grated Parmesan (or Pecorino). Mix well. Add all but a few leaves of basil and toss.
Plate the pasta:
Divide the linguini into individual portions and plate. Over each plate, divide and sprinkle the toppings in this order: pine nuts, shaved cheese, one or two tablespoons of the bread crumb topping, and the crispy Prosciutto. Garnish each portion with the remaining basil. Serve immediately.
Nutrition (per serving): 701.7 calories; 44% calories from fat; 35.5g total fat; 55.1mg cholesterol; 912.4mg sodium; 319.7mg potassium; 65.0g carbohydrates; 3.5g fiber; 1.6g sugar; 30.2g protein.
Always use the best Parmesan Reggiano and Prosciutto available.
Plate the linguini in the sequence suggested for the best presentation and to maintain the "crunch" from the toppings. Place remaining bread crumb topping in a bowl and pass at the table for those desiring some additional "crunch".
Source: The Barnes Creek Cookbook
For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, click HERE