This is a delightful yet simple little Italian dish that is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the tongue. The name comes from the fact that the two colored fettuccini noodles you use (green and yellow) resemble a mix of straw and hay. Cute, huh?
Of course, this got me to wondering, (city boy that I am), which is supposed to be which? And furthermore, what’s the difference between ‘hay’ and ‘straw?’ To the internet, Robin!
A little research reveals that there is a difference between hay and straw. Hay, apparently, is the green one. It refers to grasses cut down fresh and baled for animal feed. Straw is the dried stalks of wheat or other cereal plants. It is not animal feed, but is used as mulch or bedding. Of course, when we see some bucolic farmer’s market display with beige-colored (straw colored?) bales of ‘hay,’ what we are really seeing is bales of straw. You generally have to go to a farm or ranch to see (or smell) real, honest to goodness hay.
So, now that we know that hay is green and straw is yellowish, we can get to cooking.
Straw and Hay Pasta
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Onion, Minced
6-8 Thin Slices Prosciutto
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
6 Oz Egg Fettuccini
6 Oz Spinach Fettuccini
Grated or Shredded Parmesan
Fresh Thyme (optional)
Fill a large stockpot with salted water and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet,
then mince your onion
and add it to the butter. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions are turning clear but not brown.
While the onions are cooking, julienne your prosciutto into thin strips and reserve.
When the onions are somewhat clear, add the frozen peas and let warm through.
Add the prosciutto and let cook for a few minutes.
At this point, add your fettuccini noodles to the boiling water.
Boil until they are al dente.
Add heavy cream to the skillet
and allow this to simmer for a few minutes or until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
Salt and pepper the sauce to taste. Add a little fresh thyme if you have it.
When the noodles are ready
Add them to the sauce
and stir until noodles are well-coated.
Serve immediately with some freshly grated parmesan.
Until Next Time,