Parma Wrapped Pork Fillet with Mozzarella & Pesto
The crispy, salty flavour of Parma ham blends well with the natural sweetness of the pesto and enhances the succulence of the pork. Don’t be too precious when stuffing the pork, just make sure that you enclose the filling completely.
step one: Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/gas 6. Trim the pork fillet and split lengthways, without cutting right through. Open the fillet out flat and season generously with black pepper. I like to then cover it with clingfilm before gently bashing out the sides with the smooth end of a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
step two: Spread the pesto overt he pork fillet and then scatter the mozzarella down the middle and season lightly with salt. Arrange the slices of Parma ham in a slightly overlapping layer on the work surface. Then close up the pork fillet to enclose the filling completely and wrap with the Parma ham. Tie loosely with kitchen string at 2.5cm (1 inch) intervals and arrange in a roasting tin, seam-side down.
step three: Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 25–30 minutes or until the pork is cooked through and the Parma ham crispy. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.
step four: Meanwhile, prepare the spinach. Heat a large, heavy-based pan and add fistfuls of the washed spinach, adding another as one wilts down. Cook for 1 minute, then tip into a colander and gently press out all the excess moisture.
step five: Heat the olive oil in the pan and then add the drained spinach. Season to taste. Toss until heated through. Carve the Parma-wrapped pork into slices and arrange on warmed plates with the wilted spinach. Spoon over the pan juices to serve.
- 450g (1lb) tenderloin pork fillet
- 2 tablespoons ready-made pesto (good quality)
- 120g (4 1/2oz) buffalo mozzarella, roughly chopped
- 5 slices Parma ham
- 675g (1 1/2lb) spinach, washed, with tough stalks removed
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil