Creamy Prosciutto, Asparagus & Mushroom Linguine

Nothing beats a hearty bowl of pasta and this one is no exception.  Crispy prosciutto, crunchy asparagus and earthy mushrooms take centre stage in this light but creamy family favourite!

Prep time:  20 minutes            Cooking time:    20 minutes                $  Low Budget

Serves 4

Olive oil for frying

500gm packet of dried linguine

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 small brown onion, halved and sliced

100gm of prosciutto

1 bunch of baby asparagus, woody ends trimmed and sliced diagonally (large asparagus is fine)

150gm of swiss brown mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup of dry white wine

100ml of thin cream

2 tbs of continental parsley,  finely chopped

A squeeze of lemon juice

1/2 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Sea salt and cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Spread the prosciutto out in a single layer on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until crispy.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  When cool either crumble the prosciutto with your hands or use a knife to roughly chop it.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the linguine according to packet instructions.  Approximately 8 minutes for al dente`.

Heat a large frypan and add a little olive oil.  Fry the onions until translucent and then add the garlic and mushrooms.  Fry for a further 4-5 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened.  Add the wine and bring to a simmer and allow the wine to reduce by half.  Pour in the cream and squeeze in the lemon juice, season with a little salt and a good sprinkling of pepper.  Continue to simmer for a few minutes and if the sauce looks a little thick ladle a scoop of the pasta water into the sauce to thin it out.  It won’t thin it out too much as the water has the starch from the pasta in it.

Add the asparagus, crispy prosciutto and parsley to the pan and stir well to combine.  While the sauce comes back to the boil, drain the pasta (reserve a little water in case you need to thin it out some more) and add the linguine to the pan.  Toss well to combine and divide among four serving bowls.  Top with a good sprinkling of parmesan and drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil before serving.