When I saw this recipe, it was so simple and seemingly familiar that I never would’ve guessed it would blow my mind. But it did.  

And now I have officially discovered that there’s something very, very special about the combination of prosciutto and orange.  The hole that I didn’t even realize was in my culinary life is a bit more filled in now that I possess this delicious information. 

To experience this perfection, do the following. 

Boil a 12 oz package of pasta.  (I used a large tube pasta, but you can use linguini or tagliatelle.)  Save ¼ cup of the cooking water.  Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in saute pan.  Add 2 ounces thinly-sliced prosciutto, cut or torn into 1-inch pieces.  Sauté until slightly browned.  Add ½ cup light cream, ¼ cup pasta water, fresh juice of one orange, and ½ the zest of that orange.  Cook sauce for a couple of minutes.  Add pasta and toss in sauce to coat everything.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scatter chopped flat leaf parsley and grated parmesan on top if you wish. *

And you will see.  (That is, taste.)  The meaty, salty, funky elements of prosciutto are perfectly complemented by the sweet flowery freshness of orange zest and juice.

I eat a lot of good food in my life, a lot of it pretty complex and borderline fussy, but it’s times like this that I realize I can still have my socks knocked off by the singular perfection of a simple flavor pairing.  

*This recipe is adapted from one in Bon Appetit, May 2011.