Wondering what to do with the leftover prosciutto and parmesan you bought to make pasta panna e prosciutto? Prosciutto is so light that I always end up with more than I need (I can’t exactly walk up to the deli and ask for 1/16 pound of it, now can I?) So, for the past several days, I’ve been putting prosciutto on basically everything.
I’d been meaning for a while to try something with polenta. It’s gluten-free, and comes pre-cooked but without a bunch of preservatives, so it seems like something I ought to start using. One of the serving suggestions on the package I got was “baked potato style.” And that got the wheels turning… polenta is Italian; so are prosciutto and parmesan… a loaded baked potato has bacon; prosciutto is kind of like bacon. You get the idea.
I have a busy 10 days ahead of me getting things in order to make my trans-Atlantic trek, so I’ll stop there. Loaded baked not-potato, Italian style. Hope you enjoy!
Ingredients: (makes approximately 8 cakes)
18 oz. sleeve of pre-cooked polenta
3 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice the polenta (across the diameter) into 1/2 thick circles. Add olive oil to a large flat frying pan or skillet, heat to medium-high, and add the polenta cakes. Flip after 2-3 minutes, making sure that the cakes get crisp and golden on the outside, but don’t brown much. Lightly salt and pepper each side, but remember the prosciutto and parmesan will add saltiness to the dish.
2. Slice prosciutto into small pieces (1/2 squares work well), and pan fry in a separate pan.
3. When both sides of polenta are crisp, remove from pan and top with prosciutto and parmesan. Serve hot.
The consistency of polenta isn’t for everyone – it’s similar to grits. If you’re a fan of this traditional Italian cornmeal porridge, though, the addition of some crispy, salty meat and shaved cheese makes it a perfect appetizer or weeknight dinner.