Have you heard about Cook the Books yet? Rachel, Deb and Jo started this wonderful little group. We pick a book (preferably a book a foodie would love) read it and cook something that was inspired by our reading.
Our first book is La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture by Lily Prior. I ordered it online and was so excited when I got it. I love it when other people pick out books. When The Husband saw the book his reaction was, “Huh. A novel of rapture, huh? Sounds interesting.” Indeed, it was a novel of rapture.
The book was well written and intriguing. I finished it the day after I started reading because I couldn’t put it down. My only frustration was that I wanted answers at the end of the book. I felt like I was left with too many questions.
I chose to make a pancetta wrapped pork loin. Reading the book I realized I had to do two things: Make something with meat and use simple, fresh ingredients.
I searched through all of my cookbooks and decided on a Pancetta Wrapped Pork Loin by Giada DeLaurentiis and served it over cheesy polenta. The recipe in Family Style is slightly different and of course, I changed some of it too… so here’s the recipe with my notes.
Pancetta Wrapped Pork Loin
10 cloves garlic
1 T fresh rosemary
1 T thyme
(1/2 c flat leaf parsley)
1 T olive oil (I used about 3T)
1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb) tied boneless pork loin roast
Salt & Pepper
4 oz thinly sliced pancetta
1 1/2 c chicken broth (used 1/2c)
1 1/2 c dry white wine (used 1/2 c)
Blend the garlic, rosemary, thyme, (parsley) and oil in a small food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the garlic is minced.
Sprinkle the pork roast generously with salt and pepper. Arrange the pancetta slices on a work surface, overlapping slightly and forming a rectangle. Spread half of the garlic mixture over 1 side of the pork and between the 2 loins that meet in the center of the tied pork roast. Place the pork, garlic mixture side down, in the center of the pancetta rectangle. Spread the remaining garlic mixture over the remaining pork. Wrap the pancetta slices around the pork. Place the pork in a roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pour 1/2 cup of broth and 1/2 cup of wine into the roasting pan. Add more broth and wine to the pan juices every 20 minutes. Roast the pork until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 145 degrees F for medium-rare, about 1 hour. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Pour the pan drippings into a glass measuring cup and spoon off any fat that rises to the top.
Using a large sharp carving knife, cut the pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve with the pan juices.