Fagottini di Maiale al Tartufo

May 12th, 2012
franca_fagottini

This is a delicious secondo, or meat course, that requires a bit more preparation than many of the recipes featured here, but is well worth the effort. Fagottino means “little bundle” and in this case the pork slices are combined with cheese, sage, and truffle paste into little bundles and then baked– delicious! We’ve given the original ingredients as used by Egizia and Franca, but listed appropriate substitutes that will yield similar results in terms of taste and texture.

Fagottini di Maiale al Tartufo

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds of pork loin, sliced against the grain into thin slices (as close to 1/8 inch as manageable)
  • 10-12 fresh sage leaves
  • 10-12 slices of semi-soft, meltable cheese*
  • 2/3 c bread crumbs (unseasoned or mildly seasoned is best)
  • 1/3 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small jar (2-3 oz) of truffle paste**
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • Olive oil, to coat a baking sheet
  • salt and pepper to taste

* Our Italian cooks sotilette, a sort of Italian version of  “Kraft singles” (except, not surprisingly, much tastier and white, not orange!) Any semi-soft, easily melted cheese that’s not too strong flavored (Jarlsburg, a mild Fontina, etc) will do– stay away from very bland cheeses (mozzarella slices) or salty ones (Provolone). I used Jarlsburg Lite slices recently with good results.
** At La Romita, we use a fresh, store-bought paste made from minced fresh truffles mixed with other mushrooms, or the same thing only preserved in  jars.  You can find truffle paste in jars at specialty Italian stores or online (Amazon) – Urbani markets  a delicious truffle paste abroad. There’s really no substitute for the taste — it’s worth looking (and waiting) for.

Directions:

Pre-heat an oven to 375.  Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a shallow baking dish or large plate: taste and see if the mixture needs additional salt, and set aside. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with olive oil.

On a large cutting board, assemble the fagottini as follows: pork loin slice+ thin slice of cheese+ thin layer of truffle paste + sage leaf + pork loin slice — you are making little sandwiches of pork, truffle paste, and cheese.  If necessary, use a toothpick to hold the sandwich together, but in making this dish at home I was surprised to find it unecessary. When all your fagottini are assembled, dip each one in the egg mixture and then coat with the bread-crumbs/parmesan cheese mixture.  Bake for 350, turning once, for approximately 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees.

Transfer to a plate, garnish with lemon slices, and drizzle a bit of high-quality olive oil for taste– serve warm (so the cheese is still melted)- delicious!

Buon Appetito!

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