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Modenese Gnocco Ingrassato

Economical bakers never throw away small bits of ingredients that can be incorporated into another dish.  The development of an Emilia Romagna treat, Gnocco Ingrassato, is one fine example of this process at work.

Called “fattened dumpling” or “rancid dumpling” or “sour dumpling” since the early 1600s, gnocco ingrassato incorporates leftover bits of ham and bacon into a lightly sweetened yeast dough.  This dough is shaped and baked, often as a loaf, then served warm with cubes of mortadella or other regional salumi. 

Last night, we thoroughly enjoyed Beppe’s version at Taverna Napoleone.  Here is my quick and easy do it yourself recipe that you can make back home in the states.  I made it with pancetta, prosciutto cotto, grana padana cheese and strips of Spanish Iberico ham.

Perfect cut into squares and served as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a green salad.

Gnocco Ingrassato
1 package puff pastry sheets
1/2 cup thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma (smoked ham)
1/2 cup diced prosciutto cotto (boiled ham)
1/2 cup cubed pancetta or streaky bacon (strips will also work)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (your choice)

1.  On baking sheet, spread sheet of chilled puff pastry.
2.  Top with prosciuttos and pancetta or bacon.
3.  Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
4.  Bake in 400 degree oven until golden, crispy and puffed, approximately 25-30 minutes.

The puff pastry, called pasta sfoglia in Italy, is buttery rich and doesn’t need additional oil.  Now, if you want to be entirely too decadent, you can always add fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top of the pastry before layering the hams.

No counting calories with this tasty dish!