This easy recipe for Penne di Parma includes a creamy sauce flavored with bacon, garlic and Parmesan cheese for a quick pasta supper that is fancy enough for a dinner party and speedy enough to make on a busy weeknight. Is there anything better than parmesan cheese, pasta and bacon all one plate? You know the answer!
Now, I do love all my wonderful cookbooks. The Silver Palate Cookbook. The Preppy Cookbook by Christine Nunn. There’s A Chef in My Soup by Emeril Lagasse. My current favorite, The Add A Pinch Cookbook by my friend Robyn Stone (check out her website!)
But I am also a big fan of what I call “back of the box” recipes. I am forever turning boxes and bags and jars over to see what the recipe possibilities are, because pretty much anything edible and in a package these days has a recipe that goes with it. And sometimes they give me some pretty dang good ideas for new recipes.
And that’s where I got the inspiration for this take on the Italian classic Penne di Parma. I had a hankering for some pasta for supper, and I pulled out a fresh box of penne pasta from my pantry and looked at the back. Yes! My good old box of Ronzoni did not let me down, because there was something called Penne di Parma on the back.
Now me being me, I did mess with it a little. It called for mushrooms, and since mushrooms and I are not friends that wasn’t happening. It called for prosciutto and I only had bacon on hand (because I am me).
It wanted me to put the prosciutto in early on in the recipe, and since I know from sad experience that if you put prosciutto (or bacon) into recipes too early, it loses some of its nice salty punch….so I changed that too.
So How Do I Make Penne di Parma?
Start off by cooking up some penne pasta in heavily salted water. While the pasta is cooking, you can start the sauce by cooking up some chopped bacon in a large deep skillet until it is done just the way you like it. Scoop it out but leave those glorious drippings in the pan.
Now! Add a little butter and chopped garlic and stir it up. Pour in some half and half and let the whole thing simmer for about five minutes.
At this point your pasta will be done, so pour it into the skillet along with some grated Parmesan, a handful of fresh chopped parsley and that bacon, and toss it up until everything is bathed in that creamy, garlicky, cheesy, bacon-y sauce.
Yep, it’s that easy! Here’s a quick video to demonstrate…
Now all that is left to do is dish it out onto warm plates and dig in.
And always look at the back of boxes.
Want to round out your meal? This recipe pairs well with...
This easy recipe for Penne di Parma includes a creamy sauce flavored with bacon, garlic and Parmesan cheese for a quick pasta supper that is fancy enough for a dinner party and speedy enough to make on a busy weeknight.
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Cook pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. Drain and set aside.
- Cook bacon pieces in a large deep skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels, leaving drippings in the pan.
- Add butter and garlic and sauté for one minute. Reduce heat to medium and add half and half. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add pasta, bacon, Parmesan cheese and parsley and toss.
- Divide among plates and garnish with more cheese and parsley.
Deliciously updated from an earlier Framed Cooks post!