Melon, Prosciutto & Arugula Fusilli Pasta

Try to think of a more delicious combination than melon and prosciutto — can’t do it? Me neither. There’s something about the saltiness of the prosciutto and the sweet, juiciness of the melon that when combined, results in something magical. You can make this recipe really healthy, or you can make it really decadent. If you’re trying to avoid grains, use very little pasta, and double up on the arugula. Alternately, you can use a gluten-free pasta made from quinoa. I’ve actually never tried quinoa or other gluten-free pasta before, so if anyone out there has, I’d appreciate your thoughts. This recipe is especially delicious this time of year because melons are in season. I love tuscan melons, but cantaloupes will work as well. This recipe is so quick to whip up, has only seven ingredients, and is very satisfying.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package fusilli pasta
  • 5-10 pieces of prosciutto, ripped into small pieces
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 Tuscan Melon or Cantaloupe
  • 2 Tb. Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Glaze or Balsamic Vinegar, to taste
  • Shredded parmesan

Serves: 4

Time: 15 minutes

Start by boiling the water for you pasta. Follow the directions on the package, fill a big pot up with water and put it on the stove.

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Once you have the water on the stove, start preparing your melon. I use Tuscan Melons, which are very similar to cantaloupe, because they are super sweet and flavorful. If summer had a flavor, to me it would be a Tuscan Melon. If you can’t find Tuscan Melons, grab a cantaloupe. Start by cutting the melon in half. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds.

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Using a melon baller, (these are amazing, and definitely worth the $8 dollar investment) scoop out little melon balls and place them in a small bowl.

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After the pasta is cooked (mine took 9 minutes), take it to the sink and drain in a metal colander. Run some water over the pasta briefly to rinse and to stop the cooking.

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Return the pasta to the big pot:

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Add the melon:

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Toss in the prosciutto:

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Add the 2 cups of arugula:

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Top off with 2 Tb. of olive oil:

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Using a spoon, mix everything up:

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Using that same spoon, scoop a big amount and put it on your plate. Grate some parmesan over the pasta:

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Finally, drizzle some balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar on top of the pasta. This will give the pasta a delightful acidic bite. When my wife and I were in Italy a few years ago, we discovered balsamic glaze for the first time. Balsamic glaze has the basic flavor of really good balsamic vinegar, but is a little sweeter. The consistency is more akin to syrup than a pure liquid, and really brings out the best flavors of each ingredient in the pasta without being overwhelming. We first had it at a wine and cheese tasting in an ancient stone kitchen, served by a charming, toothless grandma in the walled Tuscan, hill town of San Gimignano. At the time, we had never had anything like it, and were so excited to bring a bottle home to give our homemade dishes a touch of Tuscany. We cherished  (i.e. used it vary sparingly) until we used it up two years later. Last week, while doing my weekly grocery shopping, I saw you can pick up a bottle at your local Trader Joe’s… While the Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze does not come with such a charming story, it’s almost as good:

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With little effort and almost no time, you’ve made dinner! Good job!

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4 thoughts on “Melon, Prosciutto & Arugula Fusilli Pasta

  1. Can’t believe how simple and delicious this was. My guests left with a doggie bag and your web site address. Looks like this will be a summer staple.

    Liked by 1 person

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