The Pasta Dish Fit For a Ballerina

The Pasta Dish Fit For a Ballerina
Courtesy Quality Italian
Jun 1, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Who says ballerinas don't eat pasta? American Ballet Theatre's youngest principal dancer, Isabella Boylston (below), counts the Italian dish as one of her favoties, not only because it's tasty (duh) but also for its fueling purposes. In fact, it's her go-to meal before almost all of her performances, so take it from a ballerina: carbs aren't always bad! Boylston loves pasta so much, in fact, that she collaborated with chefs Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli of New York's Quality Italian Steakhouse for a unique and delicious recipe that is now served at the popular eatery. 

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Courtesy Quality Italian

The special menu item features house made campanelle pasta which is coincidentally named ballerine because the noodle twists and twirls much like the shape of a spinning ballerina. Combined with prosciutto, peas, burrata, and fresh cream sauce, this is one dish we can't wait to try for ourselves. 

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The Ballerina Pasta Special will be available at Quality Italian until July 8, but only on nights of an American Ballet Theatre performance, so stop by to get it while you can! All proceeds from the dish will go to National Endowment for the Arts. Pasta that gives back? Now that's something we can get behind. If you're not local to NYC, read below to find out how to make the dish at home. Bon appétit!

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Ballerina Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

Ballerina Pasta with Prosciutto & Peas


Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Campanelle pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked peas*
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto
  • 1/4 pound butter, cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly against grain, whites and greens separated
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup pecorino Toscano cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (reserve lemon and cut into wedges for juice)
  • 1 piece burrata cheese, cut into 8 slices
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh pea leaves, removed from stem (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. Finely chop 6 slices of prosciutto, setting the rest aside for later use.
  2. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water according to manufacturer’s instructions. When cooked, drain and set aside. Do not rinse.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate heavy-bottomed pot, heat butter and chopped prosciutto over medium heat, stirring often, until butter is fully melted. Add chopped onions, shallots and black pepper. Cook until translucent, stirring often to avoid sticking. Add scallion whites and cook briefly until soft. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce liquid by half. Add the cooked pasta and heavy cream. Continue cooking and stirring until sauce thickens and coats pasta. Add the pecorino cheese, cooked peas, scallion greens, and lemon zest. Stir continuously until cheese is melted. Turn off heat.  Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, fresh lemon juice, and additional black pepper if desired.
  4. Divide pasta into 2 serving bowls. Top each bowl with four slices of burrata cheese and one slice of prosciutto, torn rustically into smaller pieces. Dress basil and pea leaves with olive oil and lemon juice and place on top. Finish the dish with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. 

*To cook peas, immerse shelled raw, fresh peas into boiling salted water until tender. Remove and place into salted ice water. Drain. Alternatively, frozen peas can be used.

Restaurant Source

Quality Italian Steakhouse