Arista (standing rib roast of pork) - Toscana
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Arista is a 14th century Tuscan dish consisting of a pork loin, partially separated from the ribs, and roasted with garlic, rosemary and sage. Often potatoes are added to the roasting pan. The name "arista" is Greek for "the best"and legend has it that the Greek Cardinal Basilio Bessarione while visiting Florence, upon tasting the dish, declared it to be "arista" (the best) and the name stuck.
The combination of the crispy, salty crackling with the juicy, tender perfumed meat melds with the potatoes which have soaked up the delicious juices. To achieve the perfect crackling, the skin will need to be rubbed with salt and dried overnight. If you don't have time for this step, don't worry too much.
Arista can be eaten hot or cold. If eaten cold dress it simply with olive oil and lemon juice. If you like, you can add 3 finely chopped sage leaves or a small spoonful of ground fennel seeds to the rosemary and garlic mixture.
Recipe type: Main Course (Secondo)
Cuisine: Toscana
Serves: 8
  1. Score the skin of the pork and rub it 5 grams of salt, ensuring the salt gets into the cut part of the skin. Leave the roast in the refrigerator, uncovered overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Mix together the garlic and rosemary with 7.5 grams (1½ teaspoon) salt and 5 grams (1 teaspoon) black pepper.
  3. Partially, cut the ribs away the bone, leaving it attached at the thicker end.
  4. Rub the area between the bones and the loin with the garlic and rosemary mixture.
  5. Use kitchen twine to tie the roast back together so that it does not separate while cooking.
  6. Rub the rest of the meat (but not the skin) with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the roast bones down and skin up in a large, heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven or clay pot.
  7. Pour the white wine in the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven for 30 minutes uncovered. Add the potatoes and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until a thermometer in the centre of the roast registers 65C (150F).
  8. Turn the oven up to 225C (450F) and cook until the skin is crisp and crunchy and a thermometer inserted in the centre of the pork roast registers 75C (165F).
  9. Remove from the heat and allow the roast to relax for 15 minutes before slicing. Check the potatoes to see if they need more salt or pepper. Slice and serve with the beans.
Recipe by Living a Life in Colour at