Straw and Hay (Paglia e Fieno)

I don’t think the Bennett Crew wants to see another plate of pasta any time soon.  This is clearly my fault.  After I made this recipe the first time, I realized I hadn’t used the right type of pasta.

So I tried it a second time using the perfect pasta.  It was delicious.  But I got so excited about how spectacular it tasted, I forgot to add the sweet spring peas.  Great.  I couldn’t possibly post this without the peas so I decided to make it one last time.

I guess third times a charm because the Paglia e Fieno was perfect!  And so perfectly delicious that after serving it to my hungry crew and downing a plate myself I realized I forgot to take a picture!

Despite not getting the third perfect picture of the perfect Paglia e Fieno, I can tell you the dish is simply divine.  A smooth and creamy sauce infused with just a hint of garlic and mellow onion, delicately wrapping the spinach and egg pasta.  With each bite of silky sauced pasta are bits of bold flavored proscuitto, thin slivers of earthy cremini mushrooms and sweet spring baby peas.  All the flavors balanced and beautifully decadent.

As you can see the picture of the Paglia e Fieno without the spring peas made it into the blog.  I didn’t have the heart to make it one more time for dinner, just for a picture.  I’ll need to wait a few more weeks and by that time, we will have tired of spring peas and moved onto the newer and more exciting summer produce.  So in the interest of utitlizing all those spring peas now in season, I decided to post the picture anyway.  You get the “picture” right?  🙂

Paglia e Fieno (if you’re wondering how to pronounce this it sounds like PAHL-ya eh FYAY-no)

Serves 4-6


1/2 lb spinach linguine or taglietelle, cooked

1/2 lb egg linguine, cooked (sometimes you can find “straw and hay” packaged together)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup sliced organic cremini mushrooms

1 cup organic peas

1/2 cup diced proscuitto or ham (omit the ham for a vegetarian version)

1 pint heavy cream

1/2  cup freshly grated parmesan

Salt and pepper

Chopped fresh Italian parsley (for garnish)


In a sauce pan heat the butter and oil over medium heat.  When the butter has melted and is frothy add the onion.  Let the onion saute until wilted and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.

Next stir in the cremini mushrooms and let them cook with the onion for a minute or two.  Next add the garlic and let it cook for just a minute.

Stir in the heavy cream and turn down the heat to medium low.  Let the cream simmer for a few minutes until it’s thickened slightly.  Then stir in the peas and ham.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little bite to the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and toss gently.  To serve family style, transfer the pasta to a baking dish and sprinkle the top with the parmesan cheese.   Or plate on individual plates and top with the parmesan cheese.

Turn the oven broiler on high and set the baking dish (or plates) in the center of the oven.  Let the parmesan on top brown and then remove from the oven.  Let the pasta sit for a few minutes before serving.  Dust with chopped fresh Italian parsley.

*Although I love this dish prepared traditionally with the spinach and egg pasta, you can certainly substitute a whole grain or brown rice pasta.  It will still be delicious.



  1. O Karista I’m going tomorrow for the cream & ham & peas! Can’t wait, I grew up with a similar dish and haven’t thought about it until your recipe! Thanks

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