FLORENTINE ROAST LOIN OF PORK - Nancy Harmon Jenkins
Preparation - Easy
Serves 10 -12
There is a story that's always told about arista. It sounds apocryphal, but no less an authority than Pellegrino Artusi, the great 19th-century cook, gastronome, and recipe compiler, says the dish was served at a church council meeting in Florence in 1430 to, in Artusi's words, "smooth out some differences between the Roman and Greek Churches." when the Greek bishops were served this famous Florentine roast, they were heard to murmur "Arista! Arista!" which in Greek means "This is really terrific!" And arista it has been ever since.
Arista di maiale, pork loin roasted in rosemary and garlic, is served all over Tuscany, in farmhouse kitchens, at bourgeois tables, in trattorie and tavole calde. The best is roasted on a rotating spit, a girarrosto, before the fire, but it is also put into the bread oven after the bread comes out. It is good hot straight from the oven and even better cold the day after. Sliced very thinly and put between two slices of country bread, it makes a terrific sandwich, and it often appears on an antipasto tray along with sliced sausages and prosciutto. Ask the butcher to bone out a loin roast of pork but leave the undercut attached. This will give you two pieces of unequal size, attached at the bottom.
When opened out flat, it will look like a book that is open about two-thirds of the way through. You will also need butcher's twine to tie the roast once you have stuffed it
Hot from the oven, this is delicious with garlic mashed potatoes with olive oil or garlic-roasted potatoes with black olives. Or, if you wish, add peeled potatoes, carrots, and onions to the roasting pan for the final hour of cooking, turning the vegetables in the pan juices and basting them from time totime. Cold the next day, arista makes a fine accompaniment to Lentil and Green Olive Salad.INGREDIENTS: