P for Prosciutto, P for... (penne alla vodka)

by Kent Merlin
(Dieppe, NB (Canada))

Penne alla vodka: shouldn't taste like wee...

Penne alla vodka: shouldn't taste like wee...

Hi Matt,

This will likely come as a bit of a strange question, however I am actually inquiring about the taste of prosciutto.

My wife and I live on the Eastern coast of Canada and enjoy preparing new dishes (world cuisine, ethnic, etc). We often import authentic spices from India, Egypt and other places abroad for the quality of the flavour/ingredients.

Today, after scouring through a number of Italian recipes, we decided upon penne alla vodka. It was rather fun to make - especially the lighting of the vodka. Overall, the dish offered a nice blend of flavours, particularly the New Mexican red pepper flakes and parmigiano-reggiano cheese!

However, the entire dish seemed to be colored by the flavour of the prosciutto. It had a flavor like, how can I put this... urine. Yes, pee!

Again, we have rather open-minded palates, although neither of us were prepared for this flavour. This area further does not have a strong Italian community for reference.

So, to make a long story shorter... is this the inherent flavour of prosciutto? Or should we look to try the dish again and this time purchase the cured ham from somewhere other than our local grocery store?

Since we have never eaten it before, we really have no basis of comparison... however something tells me its not supposed to taste like cat pee! Perhaps I'm wrong.

Hoping you can offer some clarity to our dilemma.


Kent and Jennifer.

Answer: Hi Kent/Jennifer, and yes you're right the main taste of this dish is not supposed to be excretion-related... yuk!

I'm not sure which recipe you used, but adding prosciutto and indeed lighting the vodka is all news to me.

If you check out my mamma-in-law Marisa's Pasta With Vodka Sauce (penne alla vodka) recipe, you'll notice that it's a vegetarian dish... no meat to speak of.

Sounds to me like maybe the ham was off, or you accidentally bought some strange aged prosciutto variant?

Tell you what... try the recipe above then come back to report your findings. I think I can say with some degree of confidence that it won't taste anything like a litter tray might ;-)

Buon appetito!


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