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Prosciutto and Melon Penne Pasta Recipe

Today is our 2-year anniversary. For every waking moment of those two years, I've been scared. T is 10-years younger than me. He's a Millennial and I'm borderline between Millennial and Gen X. I'm afraid he'll find someone closer to his age. In fact, even as I post this, I'm scared I'm opening a can of worms.

Food has always been our biggest enemy, outside of my age and body image, in my humble opinion. T loves the meals I concoct for him, but his kitchen skills are fairly limited. He's very willing to learn, though he doesn't like to admit it.

After working long hours, he likes for things to be quick and easy. Quick and easy equals instant mashed potatoes and shells & cheese for T. He doesn't eat vegetables, so my options are limited. We have to use fruit, somehow.

I found the perfect recipe to bridge the gap between our age and difference in cooking styles. This Prosciutto and Melon Penne Pasta recipe can be made by anyone, no matter what age. It's so easy, my teenager can make it!

This dish can be served as regular ole' weeknight dinner but boasts the Gen X style of flavor and flair. It's the best of both worlds for us. Neither of us really ENJOY cantaloupe, though we used to LOVE it as children. The savory prosciutto allowed us to introduce the sweetness of cantaloupe back into our meals.

With a little Italian flare, using the pasta and the marinara, this is a dish we'll definitely be making again. For our anniversary, we will serve it with wine! Be sure to check out the end of the post for our recommended wine pairing.

Start by cooking 1 lb. penne pasta in a deep sauté pan according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, you can move on to the ingredient prep.

Chop the garlic so you have about 1 Tbsp. It took us about 3 small cloves.

Chop 4 oz. of prosciutto. Next, chop enough mint to yield 1 Tbsp. For the cantaloupe, you'll need about 4 oz. which takes about a quarter to a half of a cantaloupe, depending on the size. The pasta should be done by now.

Drain the pasta, if necessary, and set aside in a large bowl. Draining pasta is not exactly bothersome, but most strainers are awkward and large unless you have a half moon strainer.

When I heard about Barilla Pronto pasta, I knew I had to try it. You still use water, but you don't have to wait for it to boil and you don't have to drain the pasta, either.

In the sauté pan over medium heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and cook prosciutto and garlic.

Add the cantaloupe, adding a dash of olive oil if needed for the pan. Sauté until soft, about 1 minute.

Add 1/4 cup of cooking sherry to deglaze the pan, stirring up the browned bits. I can honestly say, this was our first-time using cooking sherry!

Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the pan.

Add 12 ounces of marinara sauce and 1 tbsp. of chopped mint.

Stir and simmer a few minutes more, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the penne pasta to the sauce and toss until the pasta is covered with the sauce.

Serve and enjoy!

Prosciutto and Melon Penne Pasta Recipe

Recipe Type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Author: melsaywhat

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4

This Italian inspired dish is perfect for any occasion, whether it be a regular weeknight meal, an anniversary or a dinner party.
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 4 oz. prosciutto, cubed
  • 4 oz. cantaloupe, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cooking sherry
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped mint
  • 8-12 oz. marinara sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions in a deep sauté pan. Set aside in large bowl.
  2. While the pasta is cooking prep garlic, prosciutto, cantaloupe and mint.
  3. In the sauté pan over medium heat the olive oil and cook prosciutto and garlic.
  4. Add the cantaloupe, adding olive oil if needed for the pan. Saute until soft, about 1 minute.
  5. Add sherry to deglaze the pan, stirring up the browned bits.
  6. Add the heavy cream, marinara sauce and mint.
  7. Stir and simmer a few minutes more, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Toss the sauce with the cooked penne.
Prosciutto and Melon Penne Pasta Recipe by Keeping Up With the Vines
Recommended wine pairing:
Melon and prosciutto and dry Muscat. The perfumy, grapey character of the Muscat—Terre di Orazio’s bottling is particularly good—complements the melon, while the saltiness of the prosciutto makes a nice counterpoint to the wine’s ebullient fruitiness.

Source: Food & Wine

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