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Creamy Porcini and Prosciutto Penne

Last week was a bit crazy. Busy on Sunday, sick on Monday . . . I never got around to make a meal plan, or grocery shopping. I felt a little better the next day, yet it didn't occur to me until around 3 p.m. that I had very little (food-wise) to cook with!

I grabbed the nearest magazine (Every Day with Rachael Ray), and flipped to the recipe index. I chose two potential recipes, loaded the baby into the car and went to the store. My first stop was the deli counter. My first-choice recipe called for about 4 ounces of prosciutto, cut into small dice, and recommended asking at the deli counter for "prosciutto ends" — leftovers from the blocks of prosciutto that they slice at the deli counter. I'd never heard of asking for such a thing before, and wasn't sure if the deli would have them available. And if they didn't, I had my backup recipe.

Well, it turned out, they had two ends! So, I got my 4 ounces of prosciutto, and picked up the rest of my ingredients. This was also very easy to prepare. Not quite a ready-in-30-minutes meal, but it didn't take all day, either. It was ready in less than an hour.

I substitute light cream for heavy cream, and also let it reduce for 15 minutes instead of 10, for a thicker sauce. It had a delicious, earthy taste. Serve with crusty French or Italian bread to soak up any remaining sauce!

Creamy Porcini and Prosciutto Penne
Source: Every Day with Rachael Ray
Serves 4


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ - ½ pound prosciutto di parma*, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • ½ pound cremini (a.k.a. baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 cup light cream
  • ½ cup dry marsala wine
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Shaved parmesan cheese, for garnishing**
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnishing (optional)


  1. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water, and add the penne. Cook to al dente, according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of cooking water before draining pasta. 
  2. While pasta is cooking, bring the chicken stock and dried porcini mushrooms to a boil, to soften. Puree with an immersion blender or food processor. 
  3. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the diced prosciutto, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the fat melts (called rendering), stirring frequently. Add the sliced cremini mushrooms to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and brown, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the shallot and the garlic to the skillet, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream, the marsala wine, and the chicken stock/porcini mushroom puree. Reduce heat to medium and simmer at a rapid bubble for 15 minutes, until reduced and thickened. 
  5. Add the pasta to the skillet, loosening with the reserved cooking water if the penne sticks together. Add the parmesan cheese and toss until cheese melts. 
  6. Serve with shaved parmesan and chopped parsley. 

* Ask at the deli counter of your local grocery store for prosciutto ends.
** You're grating your Parmesan cheese from a block, right? (Right??) If so, take a vegetable peeler and run it lightly along the cut sides of the block to get thin shavings for garnishing.

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Eva @ Eva Bakes

Monday 1st of October 2012

Yum - I love prosciutto! This looks great!

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