Makes 20 purses
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 closed 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 8 by 4 inches.
- 20 sturdy fresh chives, each at least 5 inches long
- 10 thin slices Prosciutto di Parma, each approximately 8 by 4 inches
- ½ cup grated Grana Padano
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Ripe fresh figs, quartered, or ½-inch cubes of ripe cantaloupe or honeydew melon, for serving
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 5 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.
Cut the prosciutto slices in half crosswise to make pieces that measure approximately 4 by 4 inches. Place 1 teaspoon grated cheese in the center of each square. Gather the edges of the prosciutto over the cheese to form a “purse” with a rounded bottom and a ruffled top. Pinch the prosciutto firmly where it is gathered, and tie around this “neck” with a length of chive. Continue with remaining prosciutto slices, cheese, and chives.
In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 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 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and cook the remaining purses in the same manner. Serve hot with fresh figs or ripe melon pieces.