We discovered a few cans of De Cecco tomatoes that had just passed their expiry date. And to my annoyance a small whole leg of prosciutto was likewise discovered hidden in the walk-in freezer with the same problem. Honestly, prosciutto doesn’t go bad in a freezer, but we MUST to remove these items from inventory and happily they were now “mine” to play with… :) So off to the kitchens I go, intent on cooking a pasta lunch for the office crew with the tomatoes and prosciutto. First, the prosciutto was sliced incredibly thin with an electric slicer. It was still brilliant. Delicious, in fact. So we had some just like that, au naturel, with toasted Italian bread on the side. But we had quite a bit more ham to work with, so I decided to try a creamy tomato pasta topped with lots of sliced prosciutto.
Tomatoes and prosciutto are amongst my most favorite ingredients, ever. The prosciutto will probably cause colon cancer if I eat it daily (or anything with nitrates like ham, sausages, etc.) but at least the tomatoes will help stave off prostate cancer if the medical journals are to be believed… Into a pan, I added some olive oil, garlic and onions then some chopped canned tomatoes and let that cook down a bit. Season with salt and pepper. When you are almost ready to assemble the pasta, add a touch of cream and lots of grated parmesan and taste for seasoning. Add the noodles that are cooked to al dente, plate up and sprinkle with more cheese then top with more prosciutto than you think is necessary. Yum. The ingredients may have been just “expired”, but the pasta was pretty inspired. Delicious, in fact. Now to figure out how to use the rest of the leg of ham. I figure I have another month or two to work my way through it. :)
P.S. I would never suggest this for a restaurant, but in our home pantry, I sometimes have a canned or bottled item or two that has passed its expiry date (unopened) and I use it up to 2 or 3 months after the expiry date and it has always been fine…
P.P.S. In terms of “fishpan-slam-worthy” discussions, if I won the U.S. Lotto on a good month, say $200 million or so, I would immediately order this Berkel prosciutto slicer in red for my mythical future home kitchen with all the nearly-single-use doodads along with workhorse staples… It costs more than a second-hand car, so it’s ridiculous, but one can always daydream for free, right? :)