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Creamy Orecchiette with Spinach and Prosciutto


Mascarpone, a soft, rich cow’s milk cheese, gives this pasta dish its creamy texture. Look for small tubs of it at the supermarket in the cheese or dairy case.

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Rate this recipe 4.5/5 (14 Votes)


  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 lb. dried orecchiette or medium shells
  • 8 oz. baby spinach leaves (about 8 lightly packed cups)
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 2 oz. coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup using a box grater)
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 oz. prosciutto (about 4 thin slices), coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Adapted from


Step 1

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Gently stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, a few seconds. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta and spinach.

Return the pot to the stove over low heat, add the mascarpone, Parmigiano, and lemon zest and cook until the mascarpone has melted, about 1 minute. Add the pasta, spinach, reserved pasta water, and the prosciutto and toss gently. Season to taste with pepper and serve.

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