Salt and pepper
1 pound penne rigate, regular or whole wheat
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/4-1/2 pound Prosciutto di Parma (ask at the deli counter for prosciutto ends, which are sold at a discount), cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 large shallot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 cup heavy cream
About 1/2 cup Marsala or dry white wine
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for tossing
Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.
While the pasta is working, in a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock and porcinis to a boil. Simmer until softened, 8-10 minutes. Puree in a food processor.
Meanwhile,in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, three turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto and stir until the fat renders, a couple of minutes. Add the criminis and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the shallot and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream and Marsala. Stir in the mushroom puree and cook at a fairly rapid bubble, stirring, until reduced, 10 minutes.
Add the pasta and reserved cooking water to the sauce. Add the cheese as you toss. Serve in shallow bowls; top with parsley.