In the spirit of a classic carbonara, artist Wayne Thiebaud's recipe from the California Artists Cookbook (Abbeville Press, 1982) combines smoky bacon and prosciutto with egg yolks and mizithra, an aged sheep's milk cheese from Greece, for a gloriously rich dish. Get the recipe for Wayne Thiebaud's Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese ». Ingalls Photography
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Prosciutto is like the gateway drug into Italian charcuterie. This rosy, delicate, and perfumey dry-cured ham—usually served thinly sliced with thin ribbons of fat still contained—is found in several regions across Italy where it graces the center of sandwiches and becomes the inevitable focal point of antipasti boards. But there is so much more to this marvelous ham than eating it on its own. Crisped up, it adds texture and flavor when tied around roasts or stuffed under chicken skin. Chopped into cubes it can fill calzones, top pasta, or stuff tortellini. It can be layered onto crostini, mixed into vegetables, or tossed into shellfish dishes. And that’s just the beginning. Any way you slice it, this perfect Italian product is one you’ll want to stock in your deli drawer on the regular. Here are our 18 favorite dishes that show its range.

"Cavolo

Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta

Cavolo nero, also known as Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale, or Dinosaur kale, balances thinly sliced, salty prosciutto over toast. Get the recipe for Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta »
"Pizza

Pizza Chiena

Pizza Chiena

Wayne Thiebaud’s Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese

In the spirit of a classic carbonara, artist Wayne Thiebaud’s recipe from the California Artists Cookbook (Abbeville Press, 1982) combines smoky bacon and prosciutto with egg yolks and mizithra, an aged sheep’s milk cheese from Greece, for a gloriously rich dish. Get the recipe for Wayne Thiebaud’s Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese »
"Garlic-Steamed

Garlic-Steamed Manila Clams

All clams need is garlic and wine to make a perfect pot of steamers. Serve with plenty of crusty bread. Get the recipe for Garlic-Steamed Manila Clams »
"Ham

Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta)

This hefty calzone is stuffed with ricotta and two types of cured pork, and topped with a tangy tomato sauce. Get the recipe for Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta) »
"Sweet

Sweet Peas with Prosciutto

In this classic Roman pairing, sweet peas are richly flavored by salty prosciutto as well as the pork’s rendered fat. Get the recipe for Sweet Peas with Prosciutto »
"Classic

Classic Meatballs

The key to making these meatballs is to brown them first in a skillet and then braise them in a sauce of red wine and tomatoes. Serve them with crusty bread or spaghetti to sop up the sauce. Get the recipe for Classic Meatballs »
"Stuffed

Stuffed Rabbit with Cabbage

To make this nose-to-tail dish, a whole boned-out rabbit is stuffed with the meat from the legs, wrapped in cabbage leaves and speck (smoked prosciutto), and roasted, while the bones are used to make a jus. Get the recipe for Stuffed Rabbit with Cabbage »
"Lard

Lard Bread Stuffing

Lard Bread Dressing
"Escarole

Escarole with Prosciutto

Fried slices of prosciutto provide a crisp contrast to sautéed escarole. Get the recipe for Escarole with Prosciutto »
"Venetian

Venetian Rice Fritters (Arancini Veneziani)

These cheesy rice fritters, often made with leftover risotto, are an addictive snack. Get the recipe for Venetian Rice Fritters (Arancini Veneziani) »
"Grilled

Grilled Peach with Rosemary, Smoked Country Ham, and Toasted Pistachios

Inspired by the classic combination of prosciutto and melon, chef John Karangis of Union Square Events created this elegant summer appetizer that marries the sweetness of smoky grilled peaches with salt-cured Italian ham. Get the recipe for Grilled Peach with Rosemary, Smoked Country Ham, and Toasted Pistachios »

Tortellini in Broth

Adapted from Trattoria Sostanza, a Florentine institution, this prosciutto-and-cheese-stuffed pasta is served in a simple chicken broth. Get the recipe for Tortellini in Broth »
"Prosciutto-Wrapped

Prosciutto-Wrapped Roast Pork Loin

Wrapping pork loin in prosciutto not only keeps the roast especially juicy, but it adds wonderful, salty flavor. Get the recipe for Prosciutto-Wrapped Roast Pork Loin »
"Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle with Poppy Seeds and Prosciutto

Poppy seeds lend their toasty aroma to a creamy pasta dish based on one served by chef Matthew Accarrino at SPQR in San Francisco. Get the recipe for Tagliatelle with Poppy Seeds and Prosciutto »
"Chicken

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Raclette, Herbs, and Prosciutto

Raclette has a delightful nutty flavor and melts perfectly over potatoes, vegetables, or, as in this recipe, works as a great stuffing for chicken. Get the recipe for Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Raclette, Herbs, and Prosciutto »
"Dinner

Spring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea Shoots

Spring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea Shoots
"Salmorejo"

Salmorejo

Salmorejo, gazpacho’s richer, deeper cousin, is a cool, creamy soup typically topped with chopped hard-boiled eggs and salty prosciutto or Iberian ham; omit the pork to make it vegetarian. Get the recipe for Salmorejo »

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