Orecchiette with Prosciutto and Melon

Don't be afraid of this strange-sounding dish. The prosciutto-and-melon combination we've always loved as an hors d'oeuvre tastes great with pasta and tomato sauce, too.

Plus: More Pasta Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 pound sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 16-ounce can)
  • 1 cup diced cantaloupe (from about 1/2 melon)
  • 1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound orecchiette

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the prosciutto and tomatoes. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cantaloupe, cream, and the salt and pepper. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes longer.

  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orecchiette until done, about 15 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce.


Time-Saving Tip: Purchase precut cantaloupe from the salad bar at your grocery store to save fiddling with a whole melon.

Suggested Pairing

A fairly acidic white with a hint of mellowness and fruit is a good match for this unique dish. Try a Pinot Blanc from the Alsace region of France or a non-oaky California Chardonnay.

Photo © David De Vleeschauwer Published August 2012

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