This my favorite thing I’ve ever eaten. Greg and I frequent Dish Osteria in South Side – it’s trouble when your favorite restaurant is only a few blocks from your house. And as much as I want to try everything on their menu, I always, always order the Rigatoni alla Scamorza. Smoky, cheesy, peppery pasta? It doesn’t get any better than that. But I’ve learned to recreate it! I like to think that I came pretty close to the restaurant version even if I’m just basing my recipe off of their menu.
It just so happens that it’s the perfect time to share this recipe because we have started picking our homegrown sweet peas. My favorite way to eat peas is straight from the pod uncooked. I think a lot of people dislike peas because of their texture when they are cooked. And if you’ve never tried them raw, you have to! A fresh, crunchy pea is delicious. When I add peas to any dish, including this one, I just add them right at the end so they aren’t fully cooked.
We sell our peas in the pod but we also shell them for our customers too. They will stay fresh longer if you keep them in the pod though. For a recipe like this that only calls for 1/2 cup of peas it only takes about 5-10 minutes to shell. Peas are super easy to freeze too – just blanch them for 90 seconds and follow with an ice bath to cool them quickly. In the off season you can use frozen peas in this recipe and you don’t even need to thaw them.
So for the record this pasta falls into the “indulge” category of this blog. Cream sauce, cheese, prosciutto. At least it has peas, right? For the cream sauce I started with a base of onion and garlic. Once the onion is cooked I use some white wine to deglaze the pan and then added some flour for a thickener. I didn’t have much luck with pictures of the sauce coming together because you want to keep stirring constantly. Just slowly add the half & half while stirring over medium heat and you should end up with a thick sauce after 4-5 minutes. If you’ve had a really bad day, use heavy whipping cream instead. It will change your life. Pure decadence.
Once your base sauce has thickened, stir in the rest of your ingredients. Speaking of these ingredients – they aren’t cheap. Like I said, this recipe belongs in the indulge category. I use Citterio brand diced prosciutto that you can usually find in the specialty cheese section of the grocery store. You’ll also find the Parmigiano-Reggiano and smoked mozzarella in the specialty section. You can mix the pistachios into the sauce too or just use them as topping.
If you have any leftovers they are delicious too.
Serving size 5-6? HA! I could eat the whole pan.
Rigatoni with Peas, Pistachios and Smoky Black Pepper Cream Sauce
- Serves 5-6
- Total Time 30 minutes
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups half & half
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
½ cup smoked mozzarella, grated
¼ cup prosciutto, diced
½ cup fresh peas
¼ - ½ cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
Fresh cracked black pepper