I feel like I’ve made a lot of variations of this kind of pasta dish in the past. Essentially a mac and cheese with a green vegetable and (usually, but not always) some form of smoked pork product. They’re always really good, they always call to me when I see the recipes, and they’re always quick but a little more special. I liked this recipe, but truth be told I get confused by all the different versions of this I’ve made in the past and never make them again. In one way or another they are all versions of Shells and Peas, a dish I’ve personalized and been making regularly for years. So while I love them, I probably should just move on from this dish.

That being said, this was actually pretty darn good. And, as is often the case, from Food Network Magazine.

Pasta with Asparagus and Prosciutto
Kosher salt
1/2 cup diced prosciutto (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
12 ounces fettuccine
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the prosciutto in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it renders some fat and begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until the garlic just begins to soften, about 30 seconds.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the wine. Return to the heat and cook until the wine evaporates slightly, about 2 more minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Add the cream and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 more minutes.

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as the label directs, adding the asparagus during the last minute of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and asparagus.

Add the cheese to the cream sauce and stir to combine. Add the pasta and asparagus and toss to coat, adding some of the reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and top with more cheese.