This smooth, silky Prosciutto Pasta has a hint of creaminess and is for those days when you are craving something cozy. Using fresh-sliced, bright-red tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, crispy prosciutto tossed with penne rigate and a light parmesan cream sauce, this dish comes together in under 30-minutes. A generous amount of fresh grated parmesan and lemon zest is sprinkled on top to add a bright lemony pop. This one will be your GO-TO weeknight pasta dish when serving two!
The holiday season is in full swing and is the time of year I want to make food that feels warm and cozy and is easy to whip up. Maybe like me, you find yourself spending a lot of time in the kitchen prepping, baking, and cooking.
This week I am looking for something that will take very little effort yet is super yummy. Enter my friend Linda’s pasta! It’s cozy and its unexpected bright fresh notes of citrus make this a perfect all-season dish when cooking for two.
Inspired by Il Libro Della Vera Cucina Florentina (“The Book of True Florentine Cuisine”), Linda shows us how to make her Prosciutto Pasta Recipe with Mushrooms and a light cream sauce. It is so simple, uses fresh ingredients and is so very delicious.
JUMP TO THE SECTION TO LEARN:
- INGREDIENTS TO MAKE THIS PASTA
- TIPS FOR MAKING PROSCIUTTO PASTA
- COOKING FOR TWO? HERE'S HOW MUCH PASTA TO COOK
- WHAT TO SERVE WITH PROSCIUTTO PASTA
- RECIPE VIDEO
- RATE THE RECIPE
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE THIS PASTA
Here's what you need:
- Small penne rigate – you can substitute your favorite tube shaped pasta. Use gluten free pasta if necessary.
- Sliced prosciutto – if prosciutto is a bit rich for your budget Linda has also made this recipe with uncured applewood bacon. Her tip is to trim off the fat.
- Fresh mushrooms – Linda likes to use cremini or button mushrooms. I am a big fan of mixing in some shitake mushrooms along with the cremini.
- Butter for cooking the mushrooms and prosciutto
- Fresh tomatoes
- Tomato paste – we will also add a pinch of sugar and dried oregano to enhance the tomato flavor.
- Freshly grated parmigiano or parmesean – of course, you can buy the already grated parmigiano but the freshly grated parmigiano is softer and tastes so fresh adding better flavor.
- Lemon Zest
- Freshly ground peppe
TIPS FOR MAKING PROSCIUTTO PASTA
If you haven't tried cooking prosciutto before, you're in for a treat! You fry it like you would bacon, but since it's so thin, it crisps up within a few minutes. For this recipe, I fry the prosciutto until it's just crispy.
Mushrooms are a fantastic way to add a savory nuance to this pasta. But you may be surprised to find out there’s a knack to cooking mushrooms. Thankfully, learning the ins and outs of cooking these humble fungi couldn’t be simpler.
Check out our video in the recipe card below or on YouTube to see us in the kitchen creating this tasty dish and sharing tips and tricks on how to make this for two. Try this recipe, rate and comment. I want to know what you think!
MAKING CRISPY PROSCIUTTO
Crisping the prosciutto not only develops its flavor but also creates a pleasing textural contrast in this dish.
First we want to melt butter in a skillet over medium heat until foaming. Now, add prosciutto and cook until just crisp, about 10 minutes.
Grabbing a container of mushrooms from the supermarket, odds are your fresh fungi will have bits of dirt clinging to their caps. Of course, you’ll want to remove the dirt, but don’t wash them. Mushrooms are mini sponges that soak up every bit of liquid they come into contact with.
Many times we end up with bendy bland mushrooms because they absorb more water than can be cooked off. So please, do not rinse them. We will be cooking them and the heat will kill any harmful bacteria.
What to do instead? Brush the dirt off with a damp paper towel. You can also pick up a mushroom brush, which is specially designed to remove dirt without damaging the cap.
AVOIDING BLAND MUSHROOMS
If you’ve ever sautéed mushrooms, you’ll know that they give off a lot of water in the pan. To avoid sad, wet mushrooms, crank up the heat to medium-high to allow this water to evaporate. It may take a few minutes but be patient. The results are worth it.
Don’t skimp on cooking fats. Give your mushrooms a generous dose of cooking fats (such as butter) and add more as needed. This gives them a lovely brown color that no one can resist and infuses them with extra flavor—ideal for this mushroom and tomato pasta.
Also don’t forget the salt. Cooking the mushrooms with salt releases their juices and enhances browning.
COOKING FOR TWO? HERE'S HOW MUCH PASTA TO COOK
Do you have a hard time figuring out how much dried pasta to put in the pot of boiling water, so that you don’t have too little or too much? Me Too!
My rule of thumb for two is to cook half the box of pasta (8 ounces). Most recipes call for one pound of pasta — which is a standard box or bag — to serve four to six people. It’s far easier to eyeball this than fuss over specific measurements
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PROSCIUTTO PASTA
- It’s perfect on its own with a glass of chianti for date night!
- I like to serve either a Caesar salad with lots of parmesan or a simple green salad tossed with this homemade zesty, garlicky shallot vinaigrette.
- We also like to have a warm baguette to tear into and mop up any of the creamy sauce.
Prosciutto Pasta For Two
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- 8 ounces small penne rigate half a box,
- Kosher Salt
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 6 ounces sliced prosciutto julienned one slice at a time so they separate easily (or uncured applewood bacon trimmed of fat)
- 4 to 6 oz fresh mushrooms caps wiped clean and sliced ¼ inch thick.
- 1-2 tomatoes sliced in wedges seeded
- 1 cup cream plus more to thin the sauce if needed
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato paste
- Pinch of sugar
- Pinch of oregano
- 3 Tablespoons parmigiano or parmesan freshly grated
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest ½ of a lemon
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- So that the sauce and pasta finish cooking at the same time, drop the pasta into boiling water just after adding the mushrooms to the skillet.
- Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil, covered, in stockpot; add 1-tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until just shy of al dente. Drain and return pasta to stockpot.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until begins to foam. Add mushrooms and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add prosciutto to the pan and cook until crispy, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes to the pan for a short sauté, about 30 seconds. Pour in cream, gently mix into the mushroom and tomato mixture. Stir in tomato paste, pinch of sugar and a pinch of oregano and pepper to taste. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Grate parmesan into the sauce and give a gently stir. Drain pasta and add to the skillet with the sauce, toss to together. Ladle pasta into bowls, garnish with extra parmesan and grated lemon zest. Pass extra parmesan and pepper.
Reheating the Pasta:If you have leftovers you can reheat in the microwave at 50% power. Linda adds a little bit of water to thin the sauce. Reheat slowly in the microwave.
Your Notes, Tips and Tricks
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.