Cucina Povera, Tuscan Peasant Cooking by Pamela Sheldon Johns includes recipes like Ribollita (Classic Tuscan Vegetable-Bread Soup); Involtini di Maiale (Pork Rolls Stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach); and Totani Ripieni (Stuffed Squid).
In the modern kitchen, these cutlets are made with veal or chicken breasts, but pork is absolutely divine and more economical. In the past, this dish would have been made with thin slices of boneless pork shoulder, and the rolls would have been braised in plenty of liquid to tenderize it. Wrapping the meat with pancetta helps keep it moist.
In a medium bowl, combine the spinach and ricotta and stir to blend. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Set aside.
Place a slice of pork between 2 pieces of parchment paper, and roll with a rolling pin until flattened to an even thickness, about 1/8 inch. Repeat to flatten the remaining slices.
Spread a thin layer of the spinach mixture on top of a slice of pork, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Roll it and wrap with a slice of pancetta, then fasten with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining pork, filling, and pancetta.
In a large, heavy sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and sear the rolls for about 2 minutes on each side. Add the wine and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer briskly for 7 to 8 minutes, turning the rolls once or twice to heat them through. Serve at once.
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This page created November 2011
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