Making a Speck-tacle

Malone, who has been known to leave a comment here now and again, was in Italy the weekend before Christmas. He called from Treviso to find out if there were any foodie bits I’d like brought home. After some head-scratching, I came up with 10-year-old balsamic, given that it’s much cheaper there than here and I couldn’t very well ask him to lug a wheel of Parmesan home with him.

The balsamic is superb – you could nearly drink it neat in shots – but I was even more pleased with his other gift, a hunk of Alto Adige speck. I’m ashamed to admit that I had never had speck before because I wasn’t entirely sure what exactly it was and the name sounded horrible.

Well, it’s specktacular and I’m delighted with it. I’m already one of those people who eats Parma or Serrano ham at the fridge door when I supposed to be putting away the milk so I should have realised I would love this smoky, salty, cured ham too.

As per Malone’s suggestion, I tried frying pieces of it very lightly in some olive oil for a couple of minutes, adding cream and stirring the lot into pasta. Fettuccine, in this case, but I doubt it matters. I tried it again last night but added mushrooms so the husband wouldn’t look askance at his three-ingredient dinner. Divine done both ways, tastes of so much more than the sum of its parts and beyond simple to do. So mille grazie to Sgr Malone for that.


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