She highlighted recipes that you can serve hot or cold and often make ahead of time, which is a perfect time-saving option if you are looking for a quick dinner or good picnic options. Chef Vicki noted that offering pasta as a primi appetizer can often take the pressure off a dinner party host since one pound can serve 16 people. Follow it with grilled fish and a salad and you’ve got an easy, no-stress summer menu! Below is a recipe from her class that was a crowd favorite.
Penne with Arugula and Prosciutto
Yields: serves 4
- 1 pound penne rigate (ridged)
- ¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
- 1 pound baby arugula
- 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- ¾ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil for pasta. When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. When the water returns to a boil, cook the pasta until al dente.
- Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot, add the prosciutto, arugula, cheese, zest, salt, and pepper to taste and toss.
- Drizzle the oil over the pasta and toss again, adding some of the reserved cooking water if pasta seems dry. Serve immediately.