Monday, September 30, 2013

Fettuccine with Figs, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese

It’s the end of September and I feel like I am still in survival mode.  Exactly when will I get my rhythm and multitasking-mom-mojo back?  For this reason, I have reverted back to my old meal staples and TBM postings have decreased.  I find comfort that I am not the only one with a lack of creativity and time.  At Elizabeth’s soccer game, some moms were discussing the diminished spark for making exciting and innovative lunches for their kids.  They put it all in perspective with this comment: “it already feels like May.”

Yesterday I dug deep and tried a recipe that I have been holding since this summer.  I saw the recipe on a Giada cooking show while I was exercising (yep, that’s how long it has been – “when I was exercising.”).  This dish is rich with all the cheeses; consider it as a side and it has a definite fig flavor (reminds me of a Fig Newton – the only time I actually eat figs); crispy prosciutto and goat cheese enticed me to try; of course Giada makes the pasta from scratch – read paragraph 1 above to know why I substituted some fresh fettuccine courtesy of Central Market.
Fettuccine with Figs, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese
1.      Vegetable oil cooking spray
2.      Four 1/4-inch-thick slices prosciutto (about ¼ lb)
3.      1 package (about 12 oz) fresh fettuccine (for the purists, yes, that is linguine in the picture - you do what you can)
4.      1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1.      Dried Mission figs, stemmed and quartered (calls for 1 1/2 c or 7oz - I used 1/4 lb)
2.      1/2 c chicken broth
3.      1/2 c orange juice
4.      1 T fresh thyme leaves
5.      2 t kosher salt
6.      1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
7.      1/2 c (4 oz) goat cheese, at room temperature, crumbled
8.      1/2 c (4 oz ) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
9.      Zest of 1 large lemon (I used 1 capful of lemon juice)

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray.

Arrange the prosciutto in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes until crispy. Drain on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, crumble the prosciutto into 1/2-inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the olive oil and pasta. Cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl.

For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the figs, broth, orange juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the goat cheese, mascarpone cheese and lemon juice until the sauce is creamy.

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Top with the crumbled prosciutto and serve.

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