18 Recipes for Prosciutto Lovers

From topping pasta to wrapping around roasts, here are 18 of the best ways to eat one of Italy’s favorite salty hams

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 Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta

Cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) 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 »Laura Sant

Pizza Chiena

Pizza Chiena
This Neapolitan savory pie, a traditional Easter Day treat filled with meat, cheese, and eggs, comes from Mary Mazzacco of Tinton Falls, New Jersey. Get the recipe for Pizza Chiena »Farideh Sadeghin

Wayne Thiebaud's Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese

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 »Ingalls Photography

Garlic-Steamed Manila Clams

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 »Romulo Yanes

Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta)

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) »Todd Coleman

Sweet Peas with Prosciutto

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 »Todd Coleman

Classic Meatballs

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 »Todd Coleman

Stuffed Rabbit with Cabbage

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 »Todd Coleman

Lard Bread Stuffing

Lard Bread Dressing
Lard bread, available at many Italian bakeries, is a loaf has rendered pork fat and morsels of cubed, cured prosciutto layered into the dough. Get the recipe for Lard Bread Stuffing »Matt Taylor-Gross

Escarole with Prosciutto

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

Venetian Rice Fritters (Arancini Veneziani)

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) »Todd Coleman

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

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. When choosing peaches for grilling, be sure to pick fruit that's slightly firmer. If they are labeled "freestone," all the better—the pit will pop out without much struggle. Get the recipe for Grilled Peach with Rosemary, Smoked Country Ham, and Toasted Pistachios »Matt Taylor-Gross

Tortellini in Broth

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 »Michelle Heimerman

Prosciutto-Wrapped Roast Pork Loin

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 »Todd Coleman

Tagliatelle with Poppy Seeds and Prosciutto

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 »Maxime Iattoni

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Raclette, Herbs, and Prosciutto

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 »André Baranowski

Spring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea Shoots

Dinner Party, Spring Pea Ravioli
Homemade ravioli is a great weekend project recipe. Make them on a Sunday and freeze them for the week ahead; you can pop them directly in the boiling water from the freezer—they'll just need an extra minute or so to cook. Get the recipe for Spring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea Shoots »Farideh Sadeghin

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 »Todd Coleman