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Recipe for the Weekend: Penne With Zucchini and Prosciutto

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Whether you are back to work this week or enjoying one last weekend of respite, my penne with zucchini and prosciutto dish will be a welcome pick-me-up. It is quick and easy, and pairs well with a glass of verdicchio from le Marche - this beautiful white wine is perfect.

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Happy New Year!

Serves four, or six people as a starter

* 4 medium-sized zucchini
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
* 1 tsp chopped mint
* 6 slices of prosciutto di parma, cut into strips

* 100ml double cream
* 400g penne rigate
* 75g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
* sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim the ends off the zucchini, then cut them in half lengthways. Lay them flat-side down and cut into half moons about 1cm thick.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic and cook until softened. Add the zucchini and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, until they are soft and have stuck slightly to the bottom of the pan. Add the mint, prosciutto strips and finally the double cream. Season well.

Cook the penne in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Add the pasta to the sauce, toss well and add a few tablespoons of the pasta water to thin it out. Cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes, then add the parmesan, toss again and serve with black pepper.

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