Paglia e Fieno (Prosciutto and Peas)

30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 6 ounces prosciutto, thickly sliced, and cut into strips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 12 ounces peas, thawed if frozen
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
  • ½ pound green and ½ pound yellow tagliatelle

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  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve immediately.

Ed's Review

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.

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

5 thoughts on “Paglia e Fieno (Prosciutto and Peas)”

  1. Ed, I have been making Paglia e Fieno since the late-1970s when I discovered the recipe in an issue of Gourmet magazine, found nests of green and yellow fettucine in an Italian market in SE Washington DC, and cooked it for every dinner party I hosted for at least 6 months! Now living in a tiny citrus town in the middle of Peninsula Florida with a former chef (I am also a former chef), we don’t eat out because there is nowhere to go for a good meal within 30+ miles. Cooking at home is our refuge.

    Tonight I am cooking mushroom stuffed ravioli and plan to do the prosciutto, mushrooms and peas sauce. We also have to drive many miles to buy decent wine, so we do have a decently stocked wine closet. I decided to Google wine pairings and have to say, I was surprised by your recommendations. But enjoyed the ideas.

    Nice to meet you! I only saw a comment from 2013 on your page, and hope you are still actively involved in this blog. If not, good luck in whatever your endeavors might be!

    Wendy in Frostproof, Florida

    • Ah, thank you for writing. I have been working on a new book, so here less frequently. but comments like yours make me want to come back! grazie.


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