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Red Pesto & Parma Ham Penne

Published Wednesday, 14 April, 2010 by AlexA

Simple, Quick Italian Goodness



  • Red Pesto (jarred or fresh)
  • Penne Pasta
  • Salt
  • Parma Ham (or whatever ham you wish)


1) Boil water in a cooking pot until it's reached a "Rolling Boil", that is it is bubbling constantly and continously even when you stir it. Add two pinches of salt and stir. This will stop the pasta from sticking as much and flavour the pasta.

2) Add your pasta, Penne pasta is used here because it's ridged surface helps the pesto to stick better to the pasta. As soon as you add the pasta, stir it well to ensure none of it sticks.

3) Depending on how you like your pasta, cook for up to 13 minutes. Al Dente pasta, which literally means "to the tooth" is the authentic Italian method of pasta cooking and takes around 7 minutes. To test if your pasta is Al Dente simply take a piece and start chewing it. Should it have a texture that is quite firm but not sticky, it is Al Dente.

4) Once your pasta is ready to your liking, drain it, add it back to the pan and stir in your Red Pesto. Add as much as you like, however even a small amount will give the dish lots of flavour.

5) Once you've stirred the pesto in for a few seconds, add shreds of your Parma Ham. Don't let the parma ham cook like bacon as its there to add a silky rich texture and a salty "raw flavour" even though it's cured and so does not need cooking.

6) Stir this for a few seconds, and serve immediately.

Bueno Appetito!

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