Prosciutto di parma "purses"

By Lidia Bastianich
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I was first served a similar dish by my friend Carlo at Galloni Prosciutto in Langhirano, near Parma. He took thin slices of prosciutto, stuffed them with Robiola, and tied them close with a chive. A mouthful of flavor. Here I cook them and use an aged cheese, which is more tasty than a fresh cheese. Cook the “purses” just long enough to brown them. Overcooking will make them salty, and since Prosciutto di Parma is an air-cured product, it doesn’t need to be cooked to be rendered edible. When buying the prosciutto, ask for slices from the widest part of the ham, measuring about 8x4 inches. 

SERVES
10
 TO
15
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

  • 20 sturdy fresh chives, each at least 12 centimeters long
  • 10 thin slices Prosciutto di Parma, each approximately 8x4 inches
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Ripe fresh figs, quartered, or 12 millimeter cubes of ripe cantaloupe or honeydew melon, for serving.
  2. Bring a large skillet of water to a boil, and add the chives. Stir, separating the chives gently, just until they turn bright green, about five seconds. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water, and let stand a few seconds to stop the cooking. Remove the chives, and drain them on paper towels.
  3. Cut the prosciutto slices in half crosswire to make pieces that measure approximately 4x4 inches. Place one teaspoon grated cheese in the center of each square. Gather the edges of the prosciutto slices, cheese and chives.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, melt one tablespoon of the butter over low heat. Add half of the purses, and cook, shaking the skillet very gently, until the undersides are golden brown, about three to four minutes. Add the remaining one tablespoon butter, and cook the remaining purses in the same manner. Serve hot with fresh figs or ripe melon pieces.

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