This recipe originally appeared in Gourmet magazine and it definitely has some gourmet flavors! For starters, cream makes everything better. It's a fact of life. Like the sun rising in the east. Combining it with Parmesan gives it a creamy but subtle richness. And the prosciutto pushes it over the edge with a bit of salty smokiness.
Penne with Parm. cream and prosciutto is a great way to feed a crowd. With only 4 ingredients, you can easily get out of the grocery store for under $10 (depending on the kind of Parmesan you choose) with enough to serve 6-8 people. Add on salad and some bread and you're looking at $16-20.
This is as good on the first night as it is on the second, third and fourth night, if the leftovers last that long. It's the kind of meal that warms your belly and will let your guests know that they are loved.
Penne with Parmesan Cream and Prosciutto
From Gourmet Magazine
15 mins active, 40 mins total, serves 6
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 oz)
1 lb penne
2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 375°F.
Cook pasta in a 6-to-8-quart pot of boiling salted water, until al dente, then drain in a colander. While pasta cooks, bring cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Return pasta to pot, then stir in Parmesan cream and prosciutto, tossing to coat. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart shallow flameproof gratin or baking dish (about 11 by 8 by 2 inches; not glass) and bake 15 minutes.
Stir pasta well to coat evenly with sauce, then sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Turn on broiler and broil pasta 4 to 5 inches from heat until top is lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.