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Penne with Prosciutto and Cream

Baked penne with prosciutto, parmesan and cream, just four ingredients.  Super easy and delicious for a weeknight dinner or comforting Sunday supper.

Baked penne with prosciutto and Parmesan cream in casserole dish.

We did it.  We successfully dropped our youngest off at college.  My Emily, my baby, my Picky Eater.  Hold on a sec, need to wipe the tears off my keyboard.  Just kidding.  It's been a week and a half since we dropped her off and most of my tears and sniffles happened leading up to moving day.

I was remarkably fine the day we moved her in.  It was a really nice day and her sister's 21st birthday and since they are at the same university, we got to all go out and celebrate at dinner before my husband and I headed home.

We are official empty nesters I guess.  Well, we still have Buddy, our 15 year old lab.  Just the three of us.  Kinda weird, will take some getting used to. I miss my girls but am so proud of them and they are happy and all thriving.  That's what matters.

Penne with Prosciutto and Parmesan Cream in white bowl with fork.

Leading up to moving day, it was so hectic around here.  Running around shopping and last minute errands and I also started back to work, substitute teaching at the high school.  I asked Picky Eater if she wanted any special meals before she left and she asked for a few.  The first thing she wanted was "pasta with that ham stuff I like", also known as Penne with Prosciutto and Cream.

Photo of four ingredients

Several months ago, Always Hungry called from New York.  She was having a dinner party in her new apartment with friends and she was making the main dish and dessert.  I wasn't home and she got Meathead who suggested mom's penne and prosciutto dish.  Always Hungry said perfect, and Meathead gave her the recipe out of my messy drawer.  She said it was a huge hit.

Grated parmesan and chopped prosciutto on cutting board.

It is ridiculously simple, a baked dish with pasta, parmesan, cream and prosciutto.  Picky Eater and Meathead absolutely love this pasta.  I am not a fan of gloppy alfredo sauces.  This dish is surprisingly light, if that's the right term to use.  Really flavorful and comforting.

Use really good ingredients, like Parmigiana-Reggiano.  Volpi is here in St. Louis, on the Hill.  I get their prosciutto which you can find in any of our grocery stores.  Really good stuff.

Baked penne in casserole dish.

I'm glad I made this for her before she left for college.  It warmed my heart to sit at the table, just the three of us, enjoying one of her favorite dinners.  They grow up fast!  Kelly??

In white bowl with fork.

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UPDATED: Originally posted in August, 2015, when I first started this blog.  Recently updated in October, 2019, just sprucing things up a bit.  No changes to original recipe.

Baked penne with prosciutto and Parmesan cream in casserole dish.

Penne with Prosciutto and Cream

Baked penne with prosciutto, parmesan and cream, just four ingredients.
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 748kcal


  • cups heavy cream
  • cups plus 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan ~ use the good stuff, Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 pound penne
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped ~ I like Volpi brand


  • Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 375º
  • In a medium heavy saucepan, put heavy cream, 1½ cups grated parmesan and ¾ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon fresh, cracked pepper. Stir over moderate heat to just a boil and then remove from heat.
  • Cook pasta in salted water until al dente and drain. Return pasta to pot and stir in parmesan cream and prosciutto. Transfer to a 2-quart shallow baking dish, not glass.
  • Bake 15 minutes. Stir pasta to coat evenly and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan on top.
  • Turn on broiler. Broil 4 - 5 inches from heat until lightly browned and top is crispy, about 2 - 4 minutes.

Recipe Notes

This dish feels surprisingly light for an alfredo. I think it's due to baking it.


Calories: 748kcal Carbohydrates: 62g Protein: 22g Fat: 46g Saturated Fat: 26g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 132mg Sodium: 560mg Potassium: 327mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Vitamin A: 1533IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 296mg Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!



4.84 from 6 votes (4 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Thursday 24th of October 2019

Incredibly delicious and easy! I was able to put dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. We served it with an arugula salad with some vegetables I'd roasted over the weekend. Looks great, too!


Saturday 9th of November 2019

I'm glad you liked it, Quinn. It is easy, so simple. It's Mark's favorite, Emily, too. She usually asks me to make it when she's home for a visit and I ask what she wants. A green salad or veggie is the perfect side. I usually make Brussels sprouts.


Friday 18th of October 2019

My favorite of all. I can’t begin to describe how good it is. Try it for yourself.


Sunday 20th of October 2019

You and Emily, both!

Jennifer Cox

Sunday 23rd of June 2019

What should I use if all I have is a glass pan?


Sunday 23rd of June 2019

That will work as long as it's oven safe.


Sunday 17th of March 2019

Love this!


Thursday 21st of March 2019

I'm so happy!! It's my yougest daughter's favorite, she asks for it all the time!

Bernie ~ A Gouda Life

Friday 20th of January 2017

As usual I love your stories as much as the recipes. Who can pass up prosciutto ~ and creamy sauce? Not me :) -- and you're right - they do grow up too fast.