Bon Appétit (May 2011)
Our post on the revamped Bon Appétit apparently struck a chord with a lot of you. In our original post, we waxed about the loss of the mag's instantly recognizable photo style; we questioned the choice of focusing on Italian cuisine for being too safe; and we bemoaned the cheekier, more abrasive editorial style.
Commenters on the post were even more fired up: Some people blasted the changes at Bon App, while others called the revamped issue a welcome breath of fresh air. (As we said then, we completely recognize that judging a magazine redesign based on a single issue isn't very fair. We're looking forward to checking on BA in the next few months to see how it evolves!)
But we're confident there are two things from the latest Bon App that we can all agree on:
1. Pasta is good.
2. This Tagliatelle with Prosciutto and Orange is really good.
We had a package of prosciutto burning a hole in our fridge from when we made that Minted Pea and Prosciutto Crostini. This tagliatelle recipe is so simple that the only other things we needed to grab at the supermarket were the pasta and an orange -- everything else we had on hand.
One of the features in the May Bon App is all about rethinking the way you make pasta. We really love features like that, actually, because rather than just giving you recipes, they help you fine-tune your whole technique in the kitchen. This Tagliatelle with Prosciutto and Orange actually incorporates three of the feature's universal pasta tips:
1. Reserve some of your pasta water and use it to help build your sauce.
2. Undercook the pasta in the water; finish cooking it in the sauce itself.
3. Combine the pasta and sauce in the pan, rather than dumping the sauce over the pasta in a bowl.
(Truth be told, none of those tips were totally new to us. But it's always great to get a little refresher course!)
The one aspect of this dish that was new to us was the very thing that attracted us to it in the first place: the orange. We're very familiar with adding lemon to pasta, especially for something like a spinach pasta, or a tuna and parsley dish.
But it hadn't ever occurred to us to incorporate orange juice and orange zest. And wow, it's good!
The eggy, rich tagliatelle (we used fresh pasta from the refrigerated aisle), the salty strips of prosciutto, and the sharpness of the black pepper and Parmesan all get this amazing heavenly lift from the aromatic orange. The dish is simultaneously creamy and light -- and completely sumptuous and comforting.
So we walk away from this dish with one more universal tip: Pasta + orange = delicious!
UPDATE: In the comments below, reader Deb points out something that we had meant to mention. We believe there is a mistake in the directions of this recipe. It calls for the "zest and juice of 1 orange," and then instructs you to add half the zest to the pan along with the reserved cooking water, orange juice and cream. The second half of the zest is never mentioned. We used it as a garnish on top of the dish and have updated the recipe below to reflect this. Thanks Deb!
* Kosher salt
* 12 oz. egg tagliatelle or fettuccine (preferably fresh)
* 2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
* 2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1" pieces
* Zest and juice of 1 orange
* 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente, about 2 minutes for fresh pasta, longer for dried. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto; sauté until browned, about 3 minutes.
Add reserved pasta water, orange juice, half of zest, and cream; bring to a boil. Add pasta; cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and divide among warm bowls. Garnish with remaining zest.