Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Pasta

This is one of my favorite summer meals. The melons are such a short season we try to have this at least two or three times in the summer. I often make this without prosciutto as I did this time in the photo. You can substitute bacon, turkey or vegetarian bacon if you like. The key is to have something salty to stand up to the melon. If you leave out prosciutto (or prosciutto substitute), use a little more Parmesan cheese.

Melon Prosciutto Pasta

  • 1/4 cup fruity olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups cantaloupe, diced
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, very coarsely diced
  • grated zest of 1 med. lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
  • RECOMMENDED PASTA: 8 oz. medium shells (conchiglie rigate).

Combine olive oil, cantaloupe, prosciutto, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper and  Parmesan cheese in pasta serving bowl.

Set aside to warm to room temperature, or just till flavors mingle.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water till al dente. Drain pasta well & immediately add to sauce in bowl. Sprinkle with basil & toss. Serve at once with extra Parmesan cheese. Pass the pepper mill.

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