Joseph de Leo
Bocconcini di pura capra are soft little pillows of bloom-rind goat’s milk cheese made in Piedmont, Italy, at the Caseificio Alta Langa. They are delicate, gooey, and creamy with a rich but not overly goaty flavor. They are perfect picnic cheeses as they are, but if I am near an open flame or broiler/grill when I have them, I cannot resist wrapping them in a piece of prosciutto, pancetta, or speck and giving them a quick blast of heat. The word bocconcini literally translates to “little mouthfuls,” and while the makers of the cheese were no doubt referring to the diminutive size of these little cheeses, this recipe always has me greedily trying to get the whole thing in my mouth at once. The perfect combination and simple preparation makes me smile every time.
Bocconcini di pura capra is becoming more and more widely available at cheese shops and better quality grocers, though Marcellin or even Andante Dairy’s Accapella are also good options.
Speck is a gently smoked ham from the Tyrol on the Italian-Austrian border. In addition to a delicate smoky flavor, traditional speck has the perfume of juniper berries, which are used in the speck-curing process.
Preheat the oven to broil/grill.
Remove the paper from the cheese and wrap the meat around them like a ribbon around a present. Place on a baking sheet and broil/grill for 3-5 minutes, until the meat is crisp and the cheese has begun to bubble. Remove and serve immediately with crusty bread and perhaps some fresh arugula/rocket, if desired.