The Southern Italian Table by Arthur Schwartz, includes recipes like Lobster Broth with Broken Spaghetti, Broda di Aragosto can Spaghetti Ruoti; Sautéed Peppers with Olives and Capers, Peperoni Saltate con Olive e Capperi; and Grilled Pancetta or Pork on Spring Onions, Stigghiole di Pancetta.
Serves 4 to 6
This is a popular dish in Catania, where butchers stalls in the market sell meat wrapped scallions on skewers, ready for the grill or broiler, along with other "value added" meat preparations such as a ravioli di carne: seasoned ground meat formed into two triangles pinched together, stuffed with cheese.
For these stigghiole, you can use thinly sliced pancetta, though I preferred the thinly sliced cut of pork that we call "country ribs," but without the bone. The Catanese have a near fetish for spring onions, which are fatter than our scallions (also called green onions in some parts of the United States), so look for especially large ones. I am able to buy the larger, more Catanese-size ones at my local farmers market during a brief period in early spring, then again in fall.
Using a meat pounder, pound the meat to no more than 1/8 inch thick, then season with salt. Wrap each slice of meat around a scallion, spiraling it up so that the meat covers all but the very top of the greens.
Arrange the rolls in two groups and push 2 skewers through each group of four rolls. One skewer should go through the bottom end of the meat, the other near the top end of the meat. Alternatively, you can form individual pieces, using the short metal skewers that are used for trussing poultry, or sturdy toothpicks or bamboo skewers soaked in water to make them less flammable. If grouping the skewers together, leave space between the scallion rolls so the sides can brown, too.
If using the kitchen broiler, preheat the broiler pan for 5 minutes, placing it about 3 inches from heat source, whether gas or electric. You should be able to cook two skewers of 4 rolls each at one time. Broil them for 5 minutes on one side, then turn and broil on the second side for 2 to 3 minutes.
If cooking on an outdoor grill (preferably on charcoal), the skewers may need another minute or two on the second side.
This page created May 2010
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