15-minute Pasta

A speedy pasta recipe for an evening meal. This 15-minute pasta from Mary Berry features penne, Parma ham and Parmesan. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

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This is my standby pasta supper - great for everyday family meals or for casual supper parties too. If you don’t have Parma ham, then Black Forest ham or Serrano ham work just as well.

Serves 6


350g (12oz) penne pasta
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 x 80g packs Parma ham, snipped into small pieces
250g (9oz) small chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered
200g (7oz) full-fat crème fraîche
100g (4oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Green salad and crusty bread, to serve (optional)


Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add half the Parma ham and fry until crisp, then remove and set aside.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for 2 minutes. Add the crème fraîche and bring up to the boil. Add the pasta, Parmesan, remaining ham and parsley and toss together over the heat. Season well. Serve topped with the crispy Parma ham, and with a green salad and crusty bread, if you like.

Mary's wise words:

If you have left over double cream, you can use this instead of crème fraîche. For special occasions add a pack of asparagus tips to the pasta 4 minutes before the end of cooking time, then drain with the pasta.

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