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Penne with Prosciutto, Peas and Leeks in Cream Sauce

Penne with Prosciutto, Peas and Leeks in Cream Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1/3 pound chunk prosciutto di Parma or ends of prosciutto, cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch dice

  • 2 leeks or 4 spring onions, halved and whites and light greens thinly sliced

  • 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup freshly shelled spring peas

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 1/2 cup cream

  • 1/2 cup Mascarpone

  • 1 pound penne

  • 1 cup (a few handfuls) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1/2 cup (combined) flat-leaf parsley and mint, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest  

  • Salad suggestion: Halved cherry tomatoes, a thinly sliced Persian cucumber or baby zucchini and some finely chopped red onion, tossed with salt, pepper and EVOO.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.  

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add prosciutto and render a minute or two. Add leeks or green onions, garlic and peas, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté 3-5 minutes then add wine and evaporate. Add cream, melt in mascarpone and reduce heat to low.  

Cook pasta 1 minute shy of al dente in liberally salted water. Add half a cup of starchy cooking liquid to sauce, drain pasta then add it to the sauce along with the cheese, half the herbs and the lemon zest. Adjust salt and pepper and serve garnished with remaining herbs with cherry tomato or simple green salad alongside.