Parmigiano Reggiano Stuffed Onions Wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma

Wow, that’s a mouthful, in more ways than one!

I’ve been cooking quite a few sweet dishes recently, so when the Waiter, There’s Something in My… theme for this month (hosted by Jeanne from CookSister) was Stuffed Fruit or Vegetables, I wanted to do something a little more healthy and went with the vegetables…well, at least I tried for healthy.

Since my previous WTSIM….Bread entry – Sage, Honey & Pecorino Heart Bread, got a bit lost in the blog move (and a few comments, too), I wanted to make sure I gave some attention to this one.

And to the horror of many Italians around the world, this recipe uses whole onions in it!!

Prosciutto di Parma and Onion

Italians love to say a particular food is “pesante” – literal translation: heavy, figurative translation – rich, filling, hard to digest; the last being the most popular and fun way to use pesante regarding food. I’m getting into the habit as well, because pesante is such a fun, catch-all word. I use it so much that sometimes when I want to describe a dish as rich or filling, I can’t think of those words and pesante jumps around in my mouth and demands to be let out. Pesante! Pesante!

“Lunch was so pesante. I think I’m going to sleep at my desk this afternoon!”

“Risotto/Polenta/anything-with-sausage is so pesante. I’ll have a salad instead.”

“Raw onions in my kebap? No way! They are so pesante.”

“Yes, Thanksgiving, with stuffed turkey (pesante), mashed potatoes (pesante) and stuffing (pesante) is a typical holiday meal. You can add gravy (pesante) to your meat, drink egg nog (pesante) or have a side dish like green bean casserole (pesante).”

White Onions ready to be stuffed

Onions have their own little spot in the pesante world, so I knew it would be a bit of a challenge to make this and have it accepted! I would serve these as an appetizer with maybe a little rucola (arugula) on the side, or you could cut these up and toss them with some pasta.

You can be sure that I received a bonafide, “non era pesante” (did NOT cause indigestion) stamp of approval from a real Italian after I made this. So make it with no fear!

Parmigiano Reggiano Stuffed Onions Wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma

650g sweet, white onions (4 large round)
60g grated parmigiano reggiano
3-4 basil leaves
2-3 T. breadcrumbs
6-8 slices of Prosciutto di Parma

  1. First, wash and remove the outer layer of onion skin. Boil onions in water for 10 minutes (note: I would probably do 15-20 minutes if I did it again). Drain and let onions sit until cool enough to handle.
  2. Slice onions in half, and remove inner layers of onion, until you have a shell of 1-2 layers that can cotain the filling. Finely chop or blend in a processor the removed parts of the onions. Grate fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese and finely chopped basil leaves and mix. Add a few tablespoons of bread crumbs, depending on how solid you want it. (You could add cream instead for a more creamy filling)
  3. Take each onion half, fill with mixture and wrap a slice of prosciutto di Parma around the outside. Secure with a toothpick if necessary. Place in a glass baking tray and cook for 30-40 minutes at 190C/380F.

Of course, please note that the two most important ingredients in this dish are two products from Parma – parmigiano reggiano (the true parmesan!!!) and prosciutto di parma. It’s best to use d.o.c. products but I know not everyone has these at hand.

Prosciutto Wrapped, Parmigiano Reggiano Stuffed Onion

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  1. says

    My granny makes stuffed onions quite often, but her technique for stuffing the onions is different. First she peels them, cuts off the top and bottom and carves a line through the middle on one side from pole to pole. After blanching them, she removes the layers one by one, and finally stuffs them in couples. Using large enough onions she gets to fill several doble layers of onion from a single onion. The cores, obviously, cannot be fstuffed because they are too small, but a large onion can generate 3-4 stuffed onions. A kind of natural clonation.

  2. says

    Wow! I have NEVER seen anything like this and it looks absolutely delicious! I love onions so I’ll definitly be placing this on my “To Make” recipe list.

  3. says

    Reading your discription of the typical “pesante” Thanksgiving meal made my stomach hurt. I havne’t had a home cooked Thanksgiving meal like that in 8 years (since moving to the West Coast and so far from home)…not sure if I can eat like that now. :)

    bella foto.

  4. lieludalis says

    Wow! My mouth is watering… Do the photos come effortlessly, or do you spend hours (and take a million) before you get it right?! Just beautiful…always!

  5. says

    Pesante … I like that word. I tend to think that a lot of food is pesante, so I will be able to use this new-found word often. A new word added to my vocabulary … Great!

    As for those onions — it’ll will be an interesting experiment. They look great.

  6. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    @Typesetter, I’ll try your nonna’s way next time – it sounds easy!
    @lieudalis – I can’t reveal my (non-existent) secrets…I think luck and lots of practice. :) Natural light is your friend.
    @Shelley – we’ll see, I’m gonna be busy showing you around!

    Someone come up with their variation of this one and we can compare! Stuffed onions on parade!

  7. says

    Wow – terriffic! I don’t know where along the line your e-mail got lost, but this has now been added to the roundup. I have always meant to make stuffed onions but never quite managed to get there – I think it’s high time that changed! And I love that you have used proper DOC products – my sister-in-law is from Parma and she has cheese and ham imported to South Africa as she says nothing else comes close ;-)

    Thanks for a great WTSIM contribution and hope to see you again next month.

  8. says

    Come si fa a non essere amico di una ragazza che adora la cipolla avvolta nel prosciutto? Se capiti in Romagna fatti sentire che ti consiglio un paio di posti interessanti dove mangiare :)

  9. says

    VERY nice, Sara. I like and have posted on stuffed onions, too. They are a beautiful dish in their own right. Baking takes just a bit of the sting out of them. Mellow and delicious.

  10. John McGovern says

    Make these with Vidalias and they are just unbelieveable. Little bit of working hollowing out the onion (be gentle!), but worth the effort. Wrapping in the ham is perfect as they come out looking a little pale/white. The ham softens the look as sometimes you need to “sell” these as people can be inclined to say no to an onion.

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