Happiness is appreciating the little things in life.
A slice of a prosciutto, a good chunk of cheese, a glass of red and...yes I am happy!
At the weekend hubby and I often enjoy an aperitivo at home before dinner. Sometimes we just have some crisps or peanuts but I also like to make it more special by slicing some salami with some prosciutto and serve it with a bowl of olives and good wine. To me this is the most enjoyable thing I look forward to at the weekend! So rewarding after a busy week and the children love it too of course.
A good chunk of Grana Padano always goes well with your aperitivo and of course you will very often find it in Italy at weddings or at celebrations.
Grana Padano cheese which carries the PDO logo that certifies and guarantees its quality and origin, has a typical granular texture which changes depending on how mature it is. Its taste also changes with age: a fresh one would be about 9 to 16 months old with a mild and milky taste and when it is more than 16 months old it has a more grainy texture and it is ideal for grating.
Some time ago I had a masterclass about Grana Padano with top chef Giorgio Locatelli where I learned how to crack open a wheel of Grana Padano... a skilled job really!
Prosciutto di San Daniele which also carries the PDO logo is another favourite of mine when it comes to aperitivo. I grew up with it as the factories where it is produced are only half an hour away from my home town so, since I was little, I had lots of it. I am passionate about this top quality artisan product.
Some time ago I visited one of the factories at San Daniele del Friuli and I learned how Prosciutto di San Daniele is made. It is a long process which only requires two ingredients: a leg of pork and sea salt.
I made a risotto with cabbage, Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano cheese which really was delicious. I have added the prosciutto in the end as a topping but you could also just stir it in at the end in the risotto before serving it.
This is a good every day easy meal to prepare.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 18 minutes
- Yield : 4
- rice for risotto - 350 g - slightly more than 1 + 1/2 cup
- fresh cabbage - 400 g - 4 cups
- onion shallot - 1 small
- vegetable stock - 1 Liter - 1.05 qt
- Prosciutto di San Daniele - 100 g - 2/3 cup
- Grana Padano - 30 g - 1/3 cup + extra to sprinkle
- white wine - a dash
- tomato puree - 1 tbsp
- butter - knob
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Peel and finely chop the shallot.
Remove the first outer leaves of the cabbage and using a knife remove the hardest part of the core then cut it into strips.
Stir fry the shallot in a pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil then add the shredded cabbage and cook for 8 to 10 minutes whilst stirring all the time.
Cut the Prosciutto di San Daniele into small strips and crisp it up in a pan for a few minutes over a medium heat. You don't need to add any oil.
In a sauce pan toast the risotto with 1 tbsp of olive oil, add the cooked cabbage, 1 tbsp of tomato puree, the white wine, salt and pepper.
Add the stock enough to cover up all the rice and keep topping it up as it dries out during cooking. Cook the rice for about 18 minutes or according to packet instructions.
When it is cooked, switch off the heat, add a knob of butter and the grated Grana Padano. Mix well.
Serve with the crunchy Prosciutto di San Daniele on top and a good sprinkle of Grana Padano.
This post is in collaboration with the Consortiums of Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele