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Involtini di Maiale and A Giveaway

  • October 10, 2011

I’m becoming obsessed with this cookbook – Cucina Povera. I already posted a recipe for sfratti from it that will now become part of my permanent cookie repertoire. Having read all the first-hand stories in this book about Tuscan people who struggled to make ends meet and used every scrap of food available, whether grown in their gardens or foraged in the wild, I am working my way through the recipes, some of which I grew up eating in my parents’ home. I have childhood memories of hunting for wild asparagus and wild greens, of my mother canning tomatoes for the winter, of my parents making soppressata and of course home-made wine.  Maybe that’s why these recipes and stories are so resonant with me. Because food was – is – sacred and should not be wasted. Because you can make a delicious and nutritious meal out of the simplest ingredients.

If you haven’t already purchased this cookbook (or if you have and want to gift one), here’s your chance to own a copy. Leave a comment at the bottom of the blog (Not in email) and you’ll be entered to win a copy, selected by a random number generator. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter – everybody gets the same odds. But if you did, I’d be grateful.
But so you don’t have to wait to make this recipe, here’s the step-by-step. Start with a one-pound pork tenderloin and divide it into eight pieces, then pound each piece flat between parchment paper until it’s pretty thin.
Spread the ricotta and spinach mixture on top. I added a sage leaf, not called for in the cookbook recipe.
Wrap with a slice of pancetta and secure with a toothpick.
Saute for a few minutes with some wine.
Sit down to a great meal.
Involtini di Maiale
From the cookbook “Cucina Povera” by Pamela Sheldon Johns
  • 8 ounces spinach, steamed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pound boneless pork loin, sliced into 8 pieces
  • 8 thin slices pancetta
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  1. In a medium, bowl, combine the spinach and ricotta and stir to blend. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Spread a think 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.
  4. In a large, heavy saute 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.