Parmesan Pasta Gratin

I have a wonderful friend who is a vegetarian, and she lives in New York, where my husband and I try to make several trips a year to visit.  For my birthday this summer she got me a book full of recipes from beloved NYC restaurants, and I wanted to cook up a vegetarian entrée from it and use it on the blog in her honor, but the pasta I liked the most had prosciutto in it.  Now, I happen to love this tasty little cured ham, but I knew that would not fly for a veggie-only eater, so I figured I could just remove the meat and we’d be good to go…except that left literally just the pasta and the cheese sauce, which would make for a heavy, coma-inducing meal.The prosciutto, besides being awesome, does the important job of cutting through all that dairy with a salty bite, so I knew it was a simple question of adding in ingredients that would do that same job, but instead of the pig, I’d turn to veggies instead for the task!  Continue reading