Straw and Hay – Pasta for Outdoor Wednesday

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Straw is a hollow grain stalk.

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Hay is a grain or legume.

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Straw and Hay is a wonderful pasta dish.

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From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite…
This recipe for Straw and Hay, called Paglia e Fieno Papalina, is based on a pasta entree we had at Romeo Salta’s restaurant in New York City. The restaurant is now gone, but wonderful memories of good times and great food are still with us, and the few recipes we have from those days are treasured. I’d love to tell you that this dish is easy to make. It actually is, if you have a source for fresh plain and green fettucine, or are willing to settle for the packaged dried equivalent. If you make your own pasta, you’ll hate me. I want to point out that the two pastas are cooked in separate pots. This is done to prevent the green pasta from bleeding into the white and it also allows the pasta to cook more quickly. I’ve cut way back on the butter and substituted half-and-half for the heavy cream that was used when this dish was made tableside at the restaurant. I’ve also removed peas from the ingredient list. If you want more green than parsley can provide, feel free to add 1/2 to 1 cup petite peas to the mix. Though I do extensive mise en place ahead of time, I make this dish for and in front of guests. Simple things wow people. Although this was originally meant to be a first course, I serve it as an entree with a salad and a really great bread. I make it a point to finish this meal with a dessert that sure to be a stunner. Last night it was a warm lemon souffle, served straight from the oven while it’s top hat was still standing tall. It was a lovely compliment to the richness of the pasta. Here’s my rendering of Romeo’s Straw and Hay. I do hope you’ll try it. I know you’ll love it.

Straw and Hay – Paglia e Fieno Papalina
…from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1/2 pound spinach fettucine
1/2 pound fettucine
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons butter, divided use
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound prosciutto, diced
1 cup light cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1) Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
2) Melt reserved 2 tablespoons butter in a second skillet. Add prosciutto and brown; keep warm.
3) Heat cream in a microwave on HIGH power until warm, about 1 minute.
4) Cook each pasta in a separate pot of boiling salted water, following label directions. Drain well and toss with a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
5) Toss noodles with mushrooms, prosciutto, cream and Parmesan cheese until well coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I use about 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Transfer to a warm serving platter and serve. Yield: 4 – 6 servings.

This recipe is being linked to:

Outdoor Wednesday, an event sponsored by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.

Presto Pasta Nights, being hosted this week by Heather at Girlichef

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