Pasta with Pea Shoots

2 ounces fresh pea shoots
1 large clove garlic
 Salt to taste
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil, or a mixture
½ pound bow-tie pasta
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 ounce prosciutto, chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional cheese for the table
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. If the pea shoots have long stems, cut them into pieces. Set aside.
  2. Mash the garlic with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Mix with the butter or oil.
  3. Heat a large pot of salted water for the pasta.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the garlic butter or oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the mushrooms, and saute over medium heat for a few minutes, until the mushrooms have wilted. Stir in the prosciutto, cook another few seconds, then remove from the heat.
  5. When the water has come to a boil, add the pasta and cook about 7 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Return the skillet to the heat.
  6. Add the pea shoots to the skillet along with the remaining garlic butter or oil, and cook over medium heat, stirring, for a minute or two, until the pea shoots have just wilted and the ingredients are well mixed. Add the cheese, season with salt and pepper, and serve at once, offering more cheese at the table..
    ~ The New York Times