Mary Berry's 15-Minute Pasta

While I miss seeing my favorite American chefs on tv, there are a couple of British chefs I've begun to follow more recently. Jamie Oliver is one of them and I've posted a couple of his recipes, such as the popular Swedish Meatballs.

Mary Berry is the other chef. She is a cohost of the Great British Bake Off. I first discovered her last fall when my kids and I enjoyed watching the Junior Bake Off competition on television. She co-hosted the series in which kids aged roughly from 9 to 12 prepared three dishes, then only one kid from each round moved on. Let me tell you, these kids have skills!! I tried to copy a roulade recipe and failed miserably. The winner was a boy!

Then I started catching Ms. Berry's own show. I think she appeals to me because she is old school and that's how I cook--simple, family oriented recipes. I enjoy the stories she tells while cooking of how things were when she got started. I look forward to making several other recipes I have saved of hers. Stay tuned!

Mary Berry's 15-Minute Pasta

Serves 6


  • 12 ounces (340 g) penne pasta
  • 6 ounces (170 g) Parma ham, snipped into small pieces (bacon could be substituted)
  • 9 ounces (255 g) brown chestnut mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms) halved or quartered
  • 7 ounces (200 g) full fat crème fraiche
  • 3.5 ounces (100 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a frying pan until hot. Add the pieces of Parma ham and fry until crisp. Remove half of the ham onto a plate and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for two minutes. Add the crème fraîche and bring up to the boil. Add the pasta, Parmesan, and parsley and toss together over the heat. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


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