Enjoy this savory dinner recipe of prosciutto penne with spinach and Mahón-Menorca cheese.
Have you ever created a recipe that turned out so delicious you ended up texting multiple people that you’re a culinary genius? Not to toot my own horn, but this might be one of the tastiest pasta dishes I’ve had outside of cacio é pepe in Rome, Italy. This prosciutto penne with sauteed spinach and grated Mahón-Menorca cheese is every bit salty, peppery and carb loaded.
The key ingredient to this dish is the Mahón-Menorca cheese. Holy smokes this cheese is outrageously delicious. It comes from the island of Menorca which is off the coast of Spain. Picture free grazing cattle on family farms dating way back where they still use ancient practices to create their authentic Mahón-Menorca cheese. (seriously, look at the water surrounding this island!)
The cheese is a unique product with 3 varietals; soft, semi-hard and hard.
- Soft: This cheese is mild and creamy, slightly reminiscence of butter.
- Semi-Hard: And unmistakeable and characteristic cheese with an orange crust and a number of holes distributed throughout. It has a milky taste with buttery reminiscences of toasted nuts and dried fruit.
- Hard: A real delicacy for cheese connoisseurs. Its texture is firm and hard, less creamy and has a more developed flavor. Truly delicious!
For this recipe, I used the hard cheese to create a slightly creamy cheese sauce using the residual pasta water. Combined with the sauteed spinach and crispy prosciutto, the flavors of this dish compliment one another to create a truly remarkable taste. One in which I couldn’t stop eating! I kept telling myself that at least it has spinach in it and has to be “somewhat” healthy.
Prosciutto Penne with Sautéed Spinach and Mahón-Menorca Cheese Recipe:
- 12 oz penne pasta (I love authentic Italian pasta)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz prosciutto, torn
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 5 oz baby spinach
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 3-4 oz Mahón-Menorca Hard Cheese, grated
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup residual pasta water.
- Heat olive on a medium size skillet. Add prosciutto over medium heat. Stirring occasionally until prosciutto is crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a separate plate.
- In the same skillet, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add spinach, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Add the pasta back to its original pan and pour the reserved pasta water in along with 2 oz of the grated Mahón-Menorca cheese. Cook on low, tossing, until the sauce thickens and coats the penne. Top with the sauteéd spinach and crispy prosciutto along with the remaining cheese.
You can purchase Mahón-Menorca cheese nationwide at Whole Foods, and at other fine retailers such as Fairway Markets, Harris Teeter, Saveway, Kroger, Murray’s, Central Markets, Costco, Gourmet Garage, West Side Markets, Zabar’s, Central and Town & Country Markets in Seattle and at the best specialty stores all over the country. Basically, if you put your mind to it, you can find it! It’s worth the hunt.
This post is sponsored by Queso Mahón-Menorca, but the recipe creation and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that help make this blog possible!
P.S. You may be curious as to why I’m sharing a recipe that involves dairy. Here’s the thing, my intolerance is mainly limited to dairy processed in the United States. When I eat cheese from Spain, Italy or Greece I don’t experience the same issues. While I try not to indulge in it often, I won’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy delectable cheese like these Mahón-Menorca varietals!