Pasta with Parma ham and pistachios


  • 1 small red chilli
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 6 large slices of parma ham, cut into strips about 1.5cm wide
  • 225 ml cream
  • 60 g roughly ground pistachios, plus extra for serving
  • 400 g tagliatelle or linguine
  • freshly grated parmesan, for serving


  • Remove the stalk from the chilli and split it in half. Chop the chilli into fine dice.
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the chilli and chopped shallots. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the strips of Parma ham and toss for about 10 seconds.
  • Add the cream and bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for a few minutes.
  • Add 3–4 rounded tablespoons of the ground pistachios to the sauce and simmer again for another minute or so. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. For about 4 litres of water, add 1 level tablespoon table salt.
  • Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a little of the pasta water, and return the pasta to the pot.
  • Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss until well coated. Add a dash of the pasta water to loosen the sauce and toss again.
  • When serving, sprinkle some roughly ground pistachios over the top and a generous dusting of freshly grated Parmesan.


Particularly for the final sprinkling, make sure that the pistachios are not too finely ground. This adds great texture when scattered over the pasta.