Yellow and Green Fettuccine with Peas, Prosciutto, and Cream

Paglia e Fieno coi Piselli

This dish is named Paglia e Fieno, which means straw and hay, because of the green and yellow fettuccine. It is a very elegant dish which is also sometimes made with mushrooms instead of peas, as in the following recipe.

Total Time from Start to Finish: 45 minutes


  • 12 ounces fresh shelled peas (about 1 ¾ pounds peas in the pod) or 12 ounces frozen peas, thawed
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, sliced ⅛-inch thick and cut into ¼-inch wide strips
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces fettuccine, dry weight
  • 6 ounces green spinach fettuccine, dry weight
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated


  1. Cook the fresh peas in boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, cover, and place over high heat.
  3. Put the butter in a 10-inch skillet and place over medium low heat, add the onions and Sauté until they turn a rich golden color, about 5 minutes. Add the prosciutto and continue cooking, stirring, until it has lost its raw color.
  4. Raise the heat to medium high and add the cooked peas or the thawed frozen peas. Season with salt and pepper (go light with the salt because prosciutto is salty) and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream and continue cooking until it has reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, add both fettuccine, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente. When the pasta is done, drain well, and toss with the sauce and the grated Parmigiano. Serve at once.