Skip to content

La Cucina

December 16, 2008


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
Giada DeLaurentiis

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.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2008 16:34

    Looks wonderful.

    I’m hungry.

  2. December 17, 2008 09:38

    Oh wow, that looks heavenly. I love the bright herbs and the gorgeous yellow polenta. I know I’m going to end up joining this group-just waiting for a moment to breathe first.

  3. December 17, 2008 11:34

    Thanks for sending such a tasty entry and joining us on our inaugural book pick. I included you in our Sicilian banquet roundup on the Cook the Books page.

  4. December 17, 2008 12:16

    That looks fabulous! Hooray for pancetta.
    I agree, you generally need more olive oil than a recipe states – I always figure they are edited later to be healthier. 🙂

  5. December 18, 2008 20:31

    I am glad you made it with your recipe! It looks delicious. I pretty much add more olive oil and more garlic to everything I make!

    I just announced the next book on Cook the Books–hope you want to play along again. You get until 2/15 to read and post it!

  6. December 19, 2008 19:19

    Would you believe I bought this book like two months ago and have not even had the chance to sit down and open it?!? Maybe I can get to the next book on time! Love the polenta 🙂

  7. December 19, 2008 21:12

    that looks delicious!

  8. December 20, 2008 08:22

    I love pork wrapped in pancetta! That looks delicious and the polenta…yum. Send some my way!


  1. Cook the Books Roundup: La Cucina by Lily Prior « Cook the Books Club

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: