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Drunk pork “rosticciana”, with leaves and sprouts of turnip

(Rosticciana di maiale “briaca”, con foglie e teste di…rapa)

  • 1 kilogram of “rosticciana” of pork cut in adequate pieces
  • 5/6 chopped garlic cloves
  • 8/9 leaves of sage
  • 1 kg of turnip’s leaves
  • a blended mixture composed by:
    ½ kilograms of peeled tomatoes
    a big pinch of fennel seeds
    a pinch of spices
    2 glasses of white wine
    3-4 spoons of olive oil
    salt and pepper
Take a saucepan and brown over a brisky heat for 3-4 minutes, in the oil, the garlic cloves and the leaves of sage, moving them with a ladle in order to avoid their burning.
Take them out with a skimmer and drop them. In this kind of flavoured oil put the pieces of “rosticciana” and brown them, always over a brisky heat, for 10 minutes.
At the right time bathe with the wine, let evaporate by turning very often, always over a brisky heat, then add the blended mixture of tomato and lower the heat, cook very slowly covering with a lid for about 30 minutes, turning very often. Add the turnip’s leaves, turn and mix very well with the sauce, then let it cook for 10 minutes more, always with the pan covered with a lid and serve very hot.
It is the very old Florentine recipe called “maiale briaco” (drunk pork), characteristic of the down town of Firenze, where there were many drunk people. Today low dives and popular restaurants are disappeared, they surely were indecent, now everything is more modern and hygienically adequate, therefore there are less drunk people walking and messing around. Also the consumptions, due to the fact that punctual information paints the alcohol like a popular plague, a human degradation, are tending to products of different modernity and hygiene: soft drinks in can to gulp down on the stairways of churches, hystorical buildings and monuments, sitting down (or semi laying down) over comfortable “layers” of pigeons shit; and for the more progressive people, cocaine and heroine, which allow “trips” of different significance as regards as to the ones given by a “drunkness” of wine.
And, as we are talking about progress, if you still have the chance to make your shopping in a real market instead of a supermarket, where you can buy vegetables cultivated by normal farmers “contadino di hè veri”, that means treated according to the traditional manner, in December-January, you should find the turnips with their leaves and also with their sprouts; take advantage of this situation.
The turnip’s sprouts are very delicious with the rosticciana and thanks to their bitterish taste they give more vigour to the splendid flavour of the turnip’s leaves.
In this recipe the sprouts are useful because they have the power to absorb any greasiness, therefore they render balanced a preparation which, sometimes, can result a little bit greasy.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni

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