Arista alla Porchetta
by Mario Batali
from Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
Makes 4 servings
Arista is the traditional pork loin roast from Tuscany, studded with garlic and rosemary and spit-roasted over hot coals. Porchetta is a nearly boneless whole suckling pig, rubbed with rosemary and stuffed with its own highly seasoned innards. This hybrid, where pork loin meets porchetta, is a lot easier than either, with all of the tasty flavors from both.—Mario Batali
One 4-pound boneless pork loin roast, butterflied (have the butcher do this)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, fronds reserved and chopped, bulb thinly sliced
2 pounds ground pork shoulder
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 red onions, cut in half
1 lemon, halved
1. Lay the pork loin out flat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. In a 10- to 12-inch saute pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the sliced onion and fennel and saute until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the ground pork, fennel seeds, rosemary, garlic, and 2 tablespoons pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
3. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
4. Add all but 1 tablespoon of the fennel fronds, the bread crumbs, and eggs to the pork mixture and mix gently. Spread the mixture over the pork loin. Roll it up, starting from a long side, like a jelly roll, and tie with butcher’s twine. Place the red onions in a roasting pan and set the pork loin on top. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 135°F (57°C). Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
5. Slice the pork loin into 1-inch-thick pieces. Serve drizzled with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon, garnished with the reserved fennel fronds, and with the onions on the side. (Or chill overnight in the fridge and slice it thin for the king of sandwiches, for a lot of uninvited guests.)
Recipe © 2005 Mario Batali. All rights reserved.