Parma ham and pimento penne


Mary Berry’s easy pasta combines crispy Parma ham, red peppers and fresh herbs. Parma ham usually comes in packets of six to seven slices – use the whole packet.


  • 275g/9¾oz penne pasta
  • 6–7 slices Parma ham, snipped into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 150g/5½oz roasted red peppers in oil (from a jar), drained and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g/7oz full-fat crème fraîche
  • 1 x 30g packet flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 x 30g packet basil, leaves roughly chopped
  • 30g/1oz Parmesan, finely grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Recipe tipsHow-to-videos


  1. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a high heat. Fry the Parma ham for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the oil to the pan, along with the spring onions, peppers and garlic. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the crème fraîche and bring to the boil, then add the drained pasta with half of the crispy ham, most of the herbs and some salt and pepper. Stir over the heat for a few minutes, or until everything is hot.
  5. Add the cheese and a splash of the reserved cooking water if the sauce seems too thick, and sprinkle over the remaining crispy ham and herbs to serve.

Recipe Tips

Try using kitchen scissors to cut the spring onions quickly.

Swap the ham for thin rashers of streaky bacon, if you prefer.

Using chargrilled peppers in a jar makes this dish very quick. They are an excellent time saver. Of course, if you prefer, you can roast and skin your own.


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