Wine Pairings for Paglia e Fieno (Prosciutto and Peas)

Sunday Pasta Paglia e Fieno 2-13 640x480

I currently live out in the country, where many of my neighbors are horses. This, as opposed to life in New York, where many of my neighbors were merely asses.  Although I certainly do miss the city’s rich cultural offerings, I am beginning to embrace bucolic cultural offerings.  For example,  I recently attended a “blessing of the hounds,” where the local minister came to bless the hounds before they went on their fox hunt. (Yes, true. And no mention of the fox.)

Another major difference, of course, is that asses can be fun dinner guests,  whereas horses just don’t make for good conversation.  Luckily, however, where horses go, go horsey people, and even though they may dress like it’s 1950, I share with them a common fondness for pinot noir, thus proving once again what everyone in Umbria already knows: that a beautiful view, a bowl of pasta, and a few guffaws is all you really need to be happy.

Surprisingly, horses have also taught me a couple things about Italian cuisine. For example, this week’s pasta, “paglia e fieno” translates into “straw and hay.” If you didn’t know the difference, hay is green (and is eaten by the horse) and straw is yellow (and is used for the horse to sleep on). This rustic favorite from Emilia-Romagna is generally made with the combination of yellow and green tagliatelle. Some folks like to add peas or mushrooms (or both), plus prosciutto and cream.  You’ll love it regardless of whether your neighbors are horses or asses.

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

p.s. Check out our wine pairings to complement this recipe.

Sunday Pasta ™: Paglia e Fieno (Prosciutto and Peas)
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6


1 pound green and yellow tagliatelle
1 small onion, chopped
4 ounces butter
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces peas
6 ounces prosciutto (sliced thick, and then into strips)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
Salt and pepper, to taste


Saute the onion in the butter until golden brown, and then add the prosciutto, cooking for 1 more minute. Add the peas. (Be careful not to overcook the prosciutto, as it will get too crispy). Add the cream, salt and pepper and cook until slightly reduced (or about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente, drain and add to cream mixture. Remove from heat and mix in the Parmigiano. Serve immediately.