Ziti with Bladder Campion and Parma Ham

Ziti with Bladder Campion and Parma Ham
Ziti con Silene e Prosciutto Crudo

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes

Ziti with Bladder Campion and Parma Ham - The ingredients

Total Cost: UK/£ 5,82*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 1,94*

Bladder Campion: one first suggestion for cooking with it

You should already know Bladder Campion from one of my earliest posts and you can read how to blanch it for storing in this recipe. But this is my first proper recipe with Silene Vulgaris, whose sweet and delicate flavor, enhanced by a generous use of shallots and garlic – which are complementary to each other – will perfectly match the decisive presence of Parma Ham… and if you call it by its latin name it sounds even posher, doesn’t it?

Since it is essential to choose a good “prosciutto” for the recipe, I’d suggest to read also the related post about “Prosciutto di Parma” and “Prosciutto San Daniele” in here.

if you think your “prosciutto” is too salty, you can drop the percentage of salt in it simply soaking the slices into some milk for few hours; just remember to wipe them and dry them with kitchen paper before using them.

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

  • (1 Rating)

Ingredients

  • for the sauce

  • Butter - 40gr

  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 2 large

  • Parmigiano cheese - 70gr

  • Parma Ham - 100gr

  • Black pepper corns - 2gr or to taste

  • Shallots - 70gr

  • Bladder Campion* - 85gr if fresh, 135gr if blanched

  • *(As an alternative you can use fresh spinach - follow the instructions to prepare it in here)
  • Salt - to taste

  • Water - 1 or 2 ladles (optional)

  • for the pasta

  • Ziti tagliati** - 240gr

  • **(As an alternative you can use penne)
  • Fresh water - 5lt

  • Salt*** - 30gr

  • ***(the Parma ham and the parmigiano cheese will bring their own salt into the sauce)
  • Utensils

  • One paring knife

  • One sharp chef knife

  • One chopping board

  • One frying pan

  • One 6-8lt saucepan

  • One pestle and mortar

  • Two small bowls or plates

  • One zester or grater

  • One small jug or ladle

  • One large strainer or a pasta server

  • Two wooden spoons of silicon spatulas (if necessary)

Instructions

  • 1.
    Frying the ham and preparing the cheese and the pepper

    • Butter - 40gr
    • “Suited Garlic” cloves - 2 large
    • Parmigiano cheese - 70gr
    • Parma Ham - 100gr
    • Black pepper corns - 2gr or to taste
    • Fresh water - 5lt
    • One frying pan
    • One 6-8lt saucepan
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One zester or grater

      Put the saucepan with the 5lt of water on a high heat and cover with a lid. It will need about 20 minutes to come to the boiling.
      Put the frying pan on a low heat and add the butter with the “suited garlic” cloves(step 1 - pic. A).
      While the butter is slowly melting, grate the parmigiano cheese and set it aside(step1 - pic. B).
      Add the Parma ham to the melted butter and let it cook slowly, turning it from time to time. It will first gain a pale pink colour, then, while loosing liquids, it will get dark red and crispy(step 1 - pic. C). Do not let the butter burn, so you can fry the shallots in it.
      While the ham is cooking, finely crush the black pepper in the pestle and mortar(step 1 - pic. C).
      When the ham has turned dark red and crispy, take it out of the pan and set it aside.

  • 2.
    Frying the shallots and putting the Ziti to boil

    • Shallots - 70gr
    • Ziti tagliati** - 240gr
    • **(As an alternative you can use penne)

    • Salt*** - 30gr
    • ***(the Parma ham and the parmigiano cheese will bring their own salt into the sauce)

    • One paring knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One chopping board

      With the paring knife, cut off the shallots’ tips and clean their routes. Cut them in half longwise and clean off their skins. Finely cut them into a thin brunoise(step 2 - pic. A).
      If the butter for the ham got burned, get rid of it, quickly clean the pan with a kitchen paper sheet, add new butter in it and let it melt. Then set the heat on a medium power and add the shallots. Let them fry gently and, if you have changed the butter, season them with a pinch of salt when they got soften enough(step 2 - pic. B).
      When the water for pasta comes to a stable boiling, add the 30gr of salt, then drop the Ziti in. Keep stirring them from time to time, so they will not stick to each other, especially during the first minutes of cooking(step 2 - pic. C).

      Note about cutting the shallot into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the tip of the shallot. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the shallot together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 3.
    Cooking the Bladder Campion and chopping the ham

    • Bladder Campion - 85gr if fresh, 135gr if blanched
    • (follow the instructions to prepare it in here. As an alternative you can use fresh spinach)

    • Salt - to taste
    • Water - 1 or 2 ladles (optional)
    • The fried shallots in the frying pan
    • The cooked ham
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One chopping board

      Let the shallot cook through, then lower the heat under the frying pan and add the Bladder Campion to it. Keep stirring it and season it with salt according to your taste(step 3 - pic. A).
      Meanwhile, roughly chop the ham with the chef knife and set aside(step 3 - pic. B).
      If the Bladder Campion is fresh, it will need to cook for about 5 or 6 minutes on gentle heat. You might want to gradually add one or two ladles of water to prevent the leaves getting dehydrated and to help the cooking(step 3 - pic. C).

  • 4.
    Chopping the Bladder Campion

    • The cooked Bladder Campion
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board
    • The frying pan

      When ready, take the Bladder Campion out of the frying pan and chop it quite finely with a chef knife: a food processor would almost puree it(step 4 - pic. A).
      When the pasta is ready to be strained, put the Bladder Campion back into the frying pan on a medium high heat(step 4 - pic. B).

  • 5.
    Straining the ziti

    • The frying pan with the cooked Bladder Campion
    • One ladle
    • One large strainer or a pasta server

      Check the cooking time instructions on the pasta bag and remember that you will need to take the ziti out of the water just one or two minutes earlier.
      Collect about 20ml or 25ml of cooking water with a ladle and put it aside in a small receptacle.
      Drain the pasta thoroughly with a strainer. Do not let it dry completely: the water that coasts the ziti will protect them form the thermic shock they will go through when tossing on the frying pan. As an alternative, you can use a pasta server and move the pasta directly from the saucepan to the frying pan.

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

  • 6.
    Binding the Ziti with Bladder Campion, ham and cheese

    • The cooked Ziti
    • The frying pan with the cooked Bladder Campion
    • The chopped Parma ham
    • The grated black pepper - 2gr or to taste
    • Cooking water - one or two ladles
    • The grated parmigiano cheese - 70gr
    • One large strainer or a pasta server
    • One ladle
    • Two wooden spoons or silicon spatulas (if necessary)

      Immediately add all ziti to the Bladder Campion. Stir and toss quickly with the two spoons then add one ladle of cooking water and keep tossing and stirring frequently(step 6 - pic. A).
      Add the black pepper - all the 2gr or to taste - and the chopped ham, stir evenly and add another small ladle of water. Do not let it dry completely: it will moist the Parmigiano cheese(step 6 - pic. B).
      Take the pan away from the heat and add 2/3 of the Parmigiano cheese and the minced parsley, toss and stir again(step 6 - pic. C).
      Sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano cheese on top and serve immediately.

      Note about binding pasta

      As well as for rice, almost all recipes require pasta to be bound together with its sauce and tossed over heat. This allows the sauce to grab on the surface of pasta, wether it is smooth or lined or copper drawn, so that every forkful will have its perfect balance of flavours and textures. Otherwise, sauce would slip away while eating and you would end up with a good quantity of the sauce still on the bottom of the bowl.
      Another very good idea, even if not allowed by etiquette, is to eat pasta, any kind of pasta, with some nice fresh crusty bread. Bread’s starchy flavour enhances both flavours of sauce and pasta dough itself.

Instructions

  • 1.
    Frying the ham and preparing the cheese and the pepper

    • Butter - 40gr
    • “Suited Garlic” cloves - 2 large
    • Parmigiano cheese - 70gr
    • Parma Ham - 100gr
    • Black pepper corns - 2gr or to taste
    • Fresh water - 5lt
    • One frying pan
    • One 6-8lt saucepan
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One zester or grater

      Put the saucepan with the 5lt of water on a high heat and cover with a lid. It will need about 20 minutes to come to the boiling.
      Put the frying pan on a low heat and add the butter with the “suited garlic” cloves(step 1 - pic. A).
      While the butter is slowly melting, grate the parmigiano cheese and set it aside(step1 - pic. B).
      Add the Parma ham to the melted butter and let it cook slowly, turning it from time to time. It will first gain a pale pink colour, then, while loosing liquids, it will get dark red and crispy(step 1 - pic. C). Do not let the butter burn, so you can fry the shallots in it.
      While the ham is cooking, finely crush the black pepper in the pestle and mortar(step 1 - pic. C).
      When the ham has turned dark red and crispy, take it out of the pan and set it aside.

  • 2.
    Frying the shallots and putting the Ziti to boil

    • Shallots - 70gr
    • Ziti tagliati** - 240gr
    • **(As an alternative you can use penne)

    • Salt*** - 30gr
    • ***(the Parma ham and the parmigiano cheese will bring their own salt into the sauce)

    • One paring knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One chopping board

      With the paring knife, cut off the shallots’ tips and clean their routes. Cut them in half longwise and clean off their skins. Finely cut them into a thin brunoise(step 2 - pic. A).
      If the butter for the ham got burned, get rid of it, quickly clean the pan with a kitchen paper sheet, add new butter in it and let it melt. Then set the heat on a medium power and add the shallots. Let them fry gently and, if you have changed the butter, season them with a pinch of salt when they got soften enough(step 2 - pic. B).
      When the water for pasta comes to a stable boiling, add the 30gr of salt, then drop the Ziti in. Keep stirring them from time to time, so they will not stick to each other, especially during the first minutes of cooking(step 2 - pic. C).

      Note about cutting the shallot into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the tip of the shallot. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the shallot together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.

      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.

      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.

      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.

      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.

      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 3.
    Cooking the Bladder Campion and chopping the ham

    • Bladder Campion - 85gr if fresh, 135gr if blanched
    • (follow the instructions to prepare it in here. As an alternative you can use fresh spinach)

    • Salt - to taste
    • Water - 1 or 2 ladles (optional)
    • The fried shallots in the frying pan
    • The cooked ham
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One chopping board

      Let the shallot cook through, then lower the heat under the frying pan and add the Bladder Campion to it. Keep stirring it and season it with salt according to your taste(step 3 - pic. A).
      Meanwhile, roughly chop the ham with the chef knife and set aside(step 3 - pic. B).
      If the Bladder Campion is fresh, it will need to cook for about 5 or 6 minutes on gentle heat. You might want to gradually add one or two ladles of water to prevent the leaves getting dehydrated and to help the cooking(step 3 - pic. C).

  • 4.
    Chopping the Bladder Campion

    • The cooked Bladder Campion
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board
    • The frying pan

      When ready, take the Bladder Campion out of the frying pan and chop it quite finely with a chef knife: a food processor would almost puree it(step 4 - pic. A).
      When the pasta is ready to be strained, put the Bladder Campion back into the frying pan on a medium high heat(step 4 - pic. B).

  • 5.
    Straining the ziti

    • The frying pan with the cooked Bladder Campion
    • One ladle
    • One large strainer or a pasta server

      Check the cooking time instructions on the pasta bag and remember that you will need to take the ziti out of the water just one or two minutes earlier.
      Collect about 20ml or 25ml of cooking water with a ladle and put it aside in a small receptacle.
      Drain the pasta thoroughly with a strainer. Do not let it dry completely: the water that coasts the ziti will protect them form the thermic shock they will go through when tossing on the frying pan. As an alternative, you can use a pasta server and move the pasta directly from the saucepan to the frying pan.

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

  • 6.
    Binding the Ziti with Bladder Campion, ham and cheese

    • The cooked Ziti
    • The frying pan with the cooked Bladder Campion
    • The chopped Parma ham
    • The grated black pepper - 2gr or to taste
    • Cooking water - one or two ladles
    • The grated parmigiano cheese - 70gr
    • One large strainer or a pasta server
    • One ladle
    • Two wooden spoons or silicon spatulas (if necessary)

      Immediately add all ziti to the Bladder Campion. Stir and toss quickly with the two spoons then add one ladle of cooking water and keep tossing and stirring frequently(step 6 - pic. A).
      Add the black pepper - all the 2gr or to taste - and the chopped ham, stir evenly and add another small ladle of water. Do not let it dry completely: it will moist the Parmigiano cheese(step 6 - pic. B).
      Take the pan away from the heat and add 2/3 of the Parmigiano cheese and the minced parsley, toss and stir again(step 6 - pic. C).
      Sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano cheese on top and serve immediately.

      Note about binding pasta

      As well as for rice, almost all recipes require pasta to be bound together with its sauce and tossed over heat. This allows the sauce to grab on the surface of pasta, wether it is smooth or lined or copper drawn, so that every forkful will have its perfect balance of flavours and textures. Otherwise, sauce would slip away while eating and you would end up with a good quantity of the sauce still on the bottom of the bowl.
      Another very good idea, even if not allowed by etiquette, is to eat pasta, any kind of pasta, with some nice fresh crusty bread. Bread’s starchy flavour enhances both flavours of sauce and pasta dough itself.

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Ziti with Bladder Campion and Parma Ham
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