Go Back
+ servings
Penne al baffo featured image.
Print Recipe
5 from 12 votes

Penne al Baffo

Penne al Baffo is a creamy and comforting pasta made with ham and al dente pasta tossed in a tomato-based pink cream sauce. 
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8 ounces deli ham cubed, can use leftover cooked ham
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup passata (puree) or blended plum tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons parsley minced
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water use if the sauce gets too dry


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • Heat a large pan to medium heat and saute the onions in the butter and olive oil until soft (about 3 minutes). Add the ham and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • At this time begin cooking the pasta to 1 minute less than al dente.
  • Add the passata to the pan and bring the sauce to a simmer. After about 5 minutes of cooking the sauce, add the cream and continue to gently simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the not quite fully cooked pasta to the sauce. Mix well or toss to coat. Cook until the pasta reaches just al dente. If too dry add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the parsley. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper to taste. At this time you could mix in some Parmigiano or just serve as is with grated cheese on the table. Enjoy!



  • Some recipes use shallot but onion works great.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano can be mixed into the sauce right before serving or just serve on the side.
  • Any type of cooked ham will work.  Can also use prosciutto, pancetta, guanciale, etc.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave.


Calories: 776kcal | Carbohydrates: 94.5g | Protein: 25.2g | Fat: 34.3g | Saturated Fat: 13.7g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 793mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 6.2g | Sugar: 5.2g | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 4mg