Parma Ham parcels with asparagus and peas

Prosciutto di Parma parcels


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In this recipe, salty Prosciutto di Parma marries perfectly with fresh asparagus and peas to produce the taste of spring. These little bite-sized parcels show the prosciutto off at its best, respecting the years of work that has gone into producing it. Yoghurt-like squacquerone cheese was born a few miles down the road from Parma, keeping this recipe within its Italian regional family, but you can use stracchino cheese as a perfectly good substitute if you're having trouble tracking some down. The parcels go very well with a dry white wine – I recommend Albana Secco, which is also from Emilia-Romagna.

Using a potato peeler, cut twelve long thin ribbons of asparagus and set aside for later
Blanch the rest of the asparagus and the peas in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and leave to cool
Finely chop the peas and asparagus with a knife or in a food processor
Gently combine the ricotta, stracchino (or squacquerone) and pecorino in a bowl using a spatula. Work slowly to retain a stiff consistency
Add the asparagus and peas to the cheese mixture and mix thoroughly until combined
Using a teaspoon, place a dollop of the mixture in the centre of each slice of Parma Ham
Gather the Parma Ham up around the filling to make a parcel
Tie the neck of the parcel up with a strip of asparagus and serve
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