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The hallmark of Italian cuisine is exceptional flavor achieved with few ingredients and without endless labor. Oh, the dish make take some time to cook and the classics often involved a mother in the kitchen all day. But that is a labor of love, with every moment spent in respect of tradition. For sure, the Italian kitchen does not require liquid nitrogen. Simplicity is key, a simplicity that works only because of centuries of recipe tuning and perfection.

This roast, traditionally served cold, is too tempting just out of the oven not to indulge while it is piping hot. But, leftovers are encouraged. You can eat cold slices the next day, or “go American” and craft a sandwich thick with ingredients and flavor.

This dish is the perfect Sunday night feast, easily prepared and adored with every bite. This iconic recipe version comes from the most authoritative Gastronomy of Italy by Anna Del Conte.


Florentine Roast Pork

Yield: serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 10cm/4in long, plus others for the garnish shown in the picture
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ¼ pound [1 kilo] boned loin of pork without rind
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

Wash and pat dry the chops.

In a large glass bowl, place the remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Break up the jam until you have a smooth liquid.

Chop the garlic and rosemary needles together, add salt and pepper and mix well. Make small incisions in the pork and push a little of rosemary mixture into the meat. Pat the rest of the mixture all over the meat. Stud the meat with the cloves and then rub with half the olive oil. Leave to stand in a cool place for a few hours to absorb the flavorings.

Additionally, you can adorn the roast with sprig rosemary for visual effect.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the remaining oil and the meat in a roasting pan and roast for about 2 hours, basting and turning the meat every 20 minutes or so. Turn the oven up to 425°F for the last 10 minutes to brown the meat.

When the meat is tender, transfer it to a wooden board and leave it to rest for 10 minutes or so.

Remove as much fat from the cooking liquid as you can. Add 4 tablespoons hot water to the roasting pan and boil briskly, stirring vigorously to loosen the residue.

Carve the meat and spoon over the cooking juices. The pork is equally succulent and delicious served hot or cold.

Source: Gastronomy of Italy by Anna Del Conte [Pavillion Revised Edition, 2013]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-55mm Macro Lens, f/5 at 1/50th second, ISO-3200