Ragù alla Potentina (roast pork stuffed with pecorino, garlic and pancetta) - Basilicata
This recipe from Basilicata produces a succulent pork roast rolled around a stuffing made of garlic, parsley, pancetta, pecorino cheese, chilli and nutmeg. The roast is then braised in white wine and tomatoes until a beautifully golden and crispy crust develops and the meat can be cut with a butter knife. The juices are used to dress pasta (preferably a larger type of orecchiette, cavatelli or strascinati) which is served as a first course. The roast itself is then sliced and served with vegetables as a main course.
Author: Woo Wei-Duan
Recipe type: First Course (Primo), Main Course (Secondo)
- 1 recipe fresh cavatelli, strascinati or orecchiette or 450 grams dried orecchiette or short pasta
- 1.1 kilos pork belly joint, the skin scored every 2 cm
- 80 grams pecorino cheese, crumbled or coarsely grated
- 75 grams flat leaf parsley, leaves rinsed, dried and finely chopped
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch chillipowder
- 2 garliccloves, skin removed and finely chopped
- 60 grams sliced pancetta (about 4 slices) (can substitute streaky bacon)
- 50 mls (3 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil or lard
- 240 mls (1 cup) white wine
- 1 kilo tomatoes, skin and seeds removed and coarsely chopped
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- Mix together the pecorino, parsley, nutmeg, chilli and garlic with some salt and pepper.
- Rub salt into the pork skin, ensuring to get the salt inside the scored parts. Unroll the pork belly joint, skin side down. Spread the pecorino mixture evenly across the top. Cover with the pancetta slices.
- Roll the belly closed again and tie tightly with some string.
- Heat the oil or lard in a Dutch oven over high heat. Place the roll in the hot oil skin side down. Keep turning every 5 minutes until golden brown all over, about 20 minutes in total.
- Keeping the roll seam side down, add the white wine to the pan and allow about ⅔rds of it to evaporate.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan.
- You have a few options on how to cook this, the first is to cover it with a lid and cook for 2 hours on low heat. The second is to roast it in an oven set at 180C for 2½ hours. The third is to cook it in a pressure cooker for an hour.
- When the roast is cooked, set aside and keep warm. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for your pasta. If you used a pressure cooker, you may want to reduce the sauce in a saucepan for 20 to 30 minutes until slightly thicker. Otherwise, boil your pasta until it floats (if using dried pasta then boil for the time indicated on the packaging. Drain the pasta when cooked.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve as your first course.
- Slice the roast and serve as your main course.