Hamming Around with Prosciutto Scraps!

My friend Carol recently gave me a hunk of Prosciutto.  She often gives us things, for instance this lovely painting she did of our home!


Anyway, back to the prosciutto and before we get started I should just like to point out that prosciutto and parma ham are the same thing, in fact prosciutto’s full name is Prosciutto di Parma.  

As you can see it’s quite a hunk and, as I can’t be bothered to slice it thinly, this post concerns what to do with chopped and diced prosciutto rather than finely sliced. All these ideas are also perfect for leftovers and scraps of parma ham.

Prosciutto Vinaigrette

60g finely chopped prosciutto
1 garlic clove –  finely chopped
120ml olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
salt and pepper

~   Put half the oil in a frying pan, warm gently and add the chopped prosciutto.
~   Set aside for 15 minutes to infuse the flavours.
~   Whisk together the rest of the ingredients except the salt and pepper.
~   Return the pan to the heat and cook over medium heat, stirring a bit, till the prosciutto is crispy.
~   Whisk in the crispy ham and oil from the pan.
~   Serve warm or cold.


This is a quick, cheap and easy way to improve almost any meal, read about Pangrattato here and do the same as with bacon.

Prosciutto Butter

1 tablespoon olive oil
90g chopped prosciutto
150g butter at room temperature
freshly ground black pepper – optional

~   Fry the chopped prosciutto in the olive oil over medium heat till crisp then drain.
~   In the beat (or process) the meat into the soft butter.
~   Taste and season with pepper – it’s probably salty enough already.

Chopped parsley or chives would be an attractive and tasty addition.  Lots more ideas for compound butters here.

7 Ways to Use Prosciutto Butter


1.   When about to roast a chicken loosen the skin on the breast and rub a little of the butter under the skin massaging it into the breasts (hopefully I will get more hit on this site from those last few words!).

2.   Prosciutto Scones – an ingenious way to do this is to use this instead of the normal fat in scones. And, by the way, I know a super-flexible scone recipe which can also be used to make shortcakes, rock cakes, griddle cakes, cobblers, dumplings, doughnuts and more! 

3.    Stir a knob of prosciutto butter into appropriate pan sauce at the last minute to add not only texture, richness and shine but also lovely prosciuttoiness!

4.   Prosciutto Alfredo Sauce – this is a gorgeous, rich, creamy sauce great on pasta and much else, see the Alfredo Sauce recipe here and use the prosciutto butter instead of normal. 

5.   Melt onto corn on the cob.

6.   Melt a little over steak, fish or chicken when serving.

7.   Eat on toast.

Crisply fried shreds of prosciutto can be …

~   Sprinkled over salads, soups and creamy pasta dishes.
~   Stirred into polenta as you make it. For how to make polenta see here which is actually a post about a close relation of polenta, fungi (nothing to do with mushrooms) but which also has instructions for making polenta.
~   Scattered on top of pizza as soon as you take it out the oven
~   Added to scrambled eggs and omelettes.
~   Nibbled on as a cook’s treat

Of course, all these ideas can be used for thinly sliced prosciutto too!!

If these are just some of the suggestions I can think of for bits of parma ham aka prosciutto don't you wonder what ideas I have for the other 450-ish potential leftovers in my book, Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers?

ideas for 450 leftovers!

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