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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.

Ingredients

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Method

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1
Using a potato peeler, cut twelve long thin ribbons of asparagus and set aside for later
2
Blanch the rest of the asparagus and the peas in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and leave to cool
3
Finely chop the peas and asparagus with a knife or in a food processor
4
Gently combine the ricotta, stracchino (or squacquerone) and pecorino in a bowl using a spatula. Work slowly to retain a stiff consistency
5
Add the asparagus and peas to the cheese mixture and mix thoroughly until combined
6
Using a teaspoon, place a dollop of the mixture in the centre of each slice of Parma Ham
7
Gather the Parma Ham up around the filling to make a parcel
8
Tie the neck of the parcel up with a strip of asparagus and serve
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