Straw and Hay Recipe
(Paglia e Fieno)

Straw and Hay Pasta (Paglia e Fieno),

To say that the Straw and Hay recipe is colorfully named is exactly right. It is named for its duo of pasta colors, yellow "straw" and green "hay." In Italy it's called Paglia e Fieno and has been for a very long time. 

Prepared with ham, mushrooms, peas, cream and fresh Parmesan cheese, there are several traditional options for this recipe and a modern low-fat option as well.

Straw and Hay

Straw and Hay pasta is especially good when you use freshly ground spices and fresh cheese and peas.

1/2 pound fettuccine, broken in half
1/2 pound spinach fettuccine, broken in half
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups chopped ham
2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 1/2 pound)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or more, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley 

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the fettuccine, stirring occasionally. Cook the pasta al dente and drain in a colander. 

Meantime, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic, ham, mushrooms and fresh peas and sauté until the peas are tender and the juice from the mushrooms is mostly absorbed. (Add frozen peas for the last 2 or 3 minutes of cooking.) 

Stir the cream and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese into the skillet and heat. Transfer the straw and hay into a pasta bowl. Pour the cream mixture over the pasta and toss lightly to combine. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve immediately. 

Serves 6 to 8 as an entree, more as a side dish.



  • Use tagliatelle or linguine pasta instead of fettucinne, as long as the same kind of pasta is used for both the straw and hay.
  • Substitute prosciutto, bacon or pancetta for the ham.
  • A tip from the Bartolini Kitchens: If making fresh pasta dough at home, add a couple tablespoons of chopped, cooked spinach to the egg for the green hay.
  • Low-Fat Straw and Hay recipe: Cook in a non-stick skillet using cooking spray instead of oil and butter. Skip the heavy cream and substitute 1-1/2 cups low-fat milk whirled in the processor or blender with 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. 

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