Porchetta is the diminutive of porco, meaning pig. A porchetta is a pig which is halfway between a full grown pig and a suckling pig. In the area round Macerata on the east coast of central Italy, where this dish comes from, you can buy porchetta in every village and town. It is made for robust people, not weight watchers! The aroma of the garlic and herbs as the hot crackling pig is put on the wooden tables in the butchers’ shops is very tempting. Generally porchetta is eaten with unsalted bread. The fanners still keep their outside ovens to cook their porchettas in on special feast days. They stuff them with a certain type of wild fennel, the provenance of which is a feverishly guarded secret.
Liberally season with salt the inside of the deboned pig (ask your butcher to do this for you, and take home the meat trimmings).
Chop up the herbs and garlic coarsely and put it with the whole pork fillets and trimmings along the cavity. Scatter the chopped liver over as well.
Sew up the pig, place it sewn-side down on an oiled roasting tray and liberally season the outside with salt. Roast the porchetta for 1 hour in an
Skim the fat from the rich juices and serve as a sauce. When the porchetta is cooked leave it to rest for 15 minutes before cutting. Gut into
© 1993 Ann and Franco Taruschio. All rights reserved.