I currently live out in the country, where many of my neighbors are horses. This, as opposed to life in New York City, where many of my neighbors were merely asses. And while I certainly do miss the city’s rich cultural offerings, I am beginning to embrace bucolic living.
One major disadvantage, though, is that while asses can be entertaining dinner guests, horses are just no good for witty conversation. Luckily, where horses go, go horsey people. And even though they may dress like it’s 1950, I share with them a common fondness for pinot noir, proving once again what everyone in Umbria already knows: A beautiful view, a bowl of pasta, and a few guffaws is all you really need to be happy.
Surprisingly, horses have also taught me a couple things about Italian cuisine. For example, “paglia e fieno” translates into “straw and hay.” Hay is green (and is eaten by the horse) and straw is yellow (and is used for the horse to sleep on). This rustic favorite from Emilia-Romagna is generally made with the combination of yellow and green tagliatelle. Some people add peas or mushrooms (or both), plus prosciutto and cream. You’ll love it regardless of whether your neighbors are horses or asses.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the onion in the butter until it’s golden brown. Add the prosciutto and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream, peas, salt and pepper and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Cook the pasta until al dente (about 2 minutes less than package directions), drain, and add to cream mixture. Remove from heat and mix in the Parmigiano.