This Italian version of baked beans is a meal in itself. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 800 gm pork skin, excess fat trimmed (see note)
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tsp rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 200 gm piece of of mild flat pancetta, cut widthways into six thick pieces
- 350 gm dried lima beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
- 1 carrot, halved
- 1 celery stalk, halved
- 2 each fresh bay leaves, thyme sprigs, rosemary sprigs
- 400 gm canned tomatoes, crushed
- 400 gm tomato passata
- 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 6 slices crusty sourdough or white loaf, toasted, to serve (optional)
- 1Preheat oven to 130C. Cut pork skin into six 5cm x 20cm pieces. Combine parsley, chilli, rosemary leaves and one-quarter of the garlic in a small bowl, season liberally with freshly ground black pepper. Working with one piece of pork skin at a time, scatter with herb mixture, then roll skin up lengthways and secure with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining skin and herb mixture and set aside.
- 2Place a piece of baking paper in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add pork skin rolls and turn occasionally until skins are golden (1-2 minutes each side). Set aside.
- 3Heat oil in a large casserole over high heat, add onion and remaining garlic and sauté until just starting to colour (5-10 minutes). Add pancetta, top with beans, carrot, celery and herbs, then add tomato, passata and stock, place pork skin rolls on top. Bring to the simmer over medium heat, then cover and bake, turning pork skin rolls occasionally, until beans are tender, pork is gelatinous and liquid is absorbed (2½-3 hours). Remove carrot and celery, serve hot, heaped on slices of toasted bread.
Note You may need to order pork skin in advance from your butcher.
Drink Suggestion: Hoppy, malty Italian lager. Drink suggestion by Max Allen