Oven Roasted Bocconcini w/ Speck
File this under WOWIE DELICIOUS!
At a recent visit to Peasant, a cool little Italian rustic restaurant in Nolita, I had this amazing bocconcini w/ speck from their beautiful wood fired oven.
No, Henry did not build me a wood fire oven in my backyard (hey, why not?), but I recreated this amazing appetizer in the broiler and it came out just perfect.
Bocconcini are large fresh mozzarella balls packed in water (not the little cherry sized ones, but baseball sized). You can use Bufala mozzarella or Fiore di Latte, just not the shrink wrapped supermarket stuff that resembles wax.
Once you melt this creamy wonderful cheese, the milky solids ooze out to create a special treat.
Speck is a smoked prosciutto that tastes like bacon. Not easy to find, so feel free to substitute it with Prosciutto di Parma, if you can't find it.
Serve with warm, crusty bread swiped with olive paste and you will be a happy camper.
Oven Roasted Bocconcini w/ Speck:
Crusty Italian bread, toasted
olive paste or pesto
3 balls of bocconcini (mozzarella balls packed in water), drained and patted dry
6 slices of speck (smoked prosciutto)
sea salt & pepper
fresh oregano leaves
Pour some olive oil in the bottom of a small oval casserole dish.
Wrap the 3 mozzarella balls w/ 2 pieces of ham each, and lay in the dish. Sprinkle with sea salt & pepper and drizzle with some more olive oil.
Place under the broiler in a gas oven for about 8 minutes.....keep an eye so it doesn't burn. The cheese and ham should be crusty and golden.
Garnish w/ fresh oregano leaves.
Bring the casserole to the table and have everyone spoon some of the gooey cheese and speck and spread on toasts.