Monday, March 3, 2014

Paglia e Fieno for #WeekdaySupper

Paglia e Fieno

Over the course of writing this blog, I've found that I've become a fan of flavored pastas. In the past I've prepared herb-speckled pasta, chocolate pasta, and purple pasta not once, but twice. So it was a surprise that I had overlooked this dish in a cookbook I've had for over a year until now.

According to Google, paglia e fieno directly translates to straw and hay and got it's name because the regular fettuccine and the spinach fettuccine mimic straw and hay respectively. According to Chef Bastianich, the dish is a restaurant staple but I don't remember seeing it on any Italian restaurant menu that I've patronized (which makes me want to re-evaluate the authenticity of the Italian restaurants I've given my hard earned cash to, but I digress).

What makes this a weeknight meal? Quite simply, the mise en place. Prepare some onions and measure out other ingredients and you're done. 10 minutes, tops.

The Challenge

Restaurant style elegance on a weeknight.

The Source

Adapted from page 77 (with a picture of the dish on page 76) of Lidia's Favorite Recipes by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch scallions, trimmed of the roots and tips, cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin strips
1 cup peas, blanched if fresh or thawed if frozen
1 4-ounce package diced prosciutto
2/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces egg fettuccine
8 ounces spinach fettuccine
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish


1. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop the fettuccine into the water and boil until just shy of al dente (usually 2 to 3 minutes less than the box instructions.

2. Heat the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the scallions and sweat until wilted, approximately 2 minutes. Add the peas to the scallions until tender, an additional approximate 3 minutes. Add the prosciutto and cook until browned slightly, approximately 2 minutes. Deglaze with chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and reduce the liquid by half. Then add the cream and simmer until thickened, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the pasta, then toss with the sauce and simmer for a minute or two to blend the flavors. Serve in warmed bowls and garnish with Parmigiano.


I had to alter the method slightly because I had dried traditional pasta and fresh store-bought spinach pasta so I added the spinach pasta later. I plan on revisiting the topic of spinach pasta later, but not appropriate for a weeknight.

Finally, a preview of this week's other WeekdaySupper participants:

Sunday Supper Movement


  1. Wonderful pasta dish! And so great that it is done so quickly. Perfect for a weekday supper.

  2. What a fabulous recipe. Looks so good.

  3. I'm with you. I love flavored pastas and wish I could learn how to make them. We've got a great source here in Denver called Pappardelle's. With that said, this dish looks really very good.

  4. OK, I know this is crazy, but when I looked at the picture at the top, I could have sworn I got a whiff of the dish. I could seriously smell it. Maybe I'm losing my mind, but it smelled really great. I haven't experimented with flavored pastas yet, but I want to start. A nice change from traditional pasta!


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