It’s rare that I splurge on expensive ingredients like proscuitto and buffalo mozzarella. But when I lived in Rome, it was easy enough to make a meal out of a few slices of high quality cured meat, combined with a few bites of silky cheese, rounded out some crusty bread dipped in olive oil. Meals like this don’t really need recipes. When the quality of these items is so high, as they are in the standard supermarket in Italy, nothing else really matters.
Needless to say, we usually don’t rely on ingredients like $26/lb Serrano Ham to round out our recipes. But the other day I had dinner at Piadina, a cute little Italian restaurant in the West Village, and when it came time to order, I was craving prosciutto. My appetizer was the simplest creation of homemade ricotta, blanched thick asparagus spears, and thinly sliced prosciutto, beautifully arranged to allow me to orchestrate each bite just so.
I recreated the dish for lunch the other day, and was surprised how far I could stretch the ingredients and how affordable they ended up for only one or two servings.
Every now and then, it’s nice to pamper yourself.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
I found domestic prosciutto at the deli counter for $15/lb, which ended up being very cheap when only buying a quarter pound. Just see what kind of specials your supermarket has. Sometimes, burrata can be surprisingly cheap as well.
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed
1/4 lb prosciutto
1/4 lb burrata
coarse sea saltBring a large pot of heavily salted water to boil. With a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus stalks. Blanch in the boiling water for 1 minutes. Seriously, this will not take long. Remove to an ice bath or colander in the sink under running very cold water.Arrange the prosciutto on one side of the plate. Coarsely tear the burrata and arrange on the other side of the plate. Dry the asparagus stalks and pile them in the middle. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.