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!!
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).”
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
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.