Prosciutto is a type of sliced, cured meat that's used in various Italian dishes, from appetizers to pasta. These recipes include prosciutto for its salty, intensely flavorful taste.
Prosciutto is made from pork. It's a version of ham that's sliced paper-thin after being dry-cured for a very long time, a process that involves salting the meat heavily. When you eat prosciutto, you're actually eating raw meat, since it's aged instead of cooked. The strong, salty flavor lends this Italian delicacy to antipasto plates and pizza toppings. We can trace the word prosciutto back to the Latin exsuctus, "lacking juice" or "dried up."