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Costolette di Maiale con Salvia


That’s Italian for Pork Chops with Sage, another recipe from Jamie’s Italy (I mentioned bustrengo earlier this year). I cooked it the other day when Paul and Rachel came for dinner and now he’s after the secret!

The heart of the recipe is some decent pork chops, one per person. To make them more succulent, a large pocket is carefully slit in each one and filled with a flavoured butter (sage leaves, garlic, prosciutto, salt, pepper and, for a twist, dried apricots).

That can be set aside, decorated with some lightly oiled sage leaves, pressed on with flour (which, to some extent, glues in place). Meanwhile, set the oven to 220°C (425°F / Gas 7), chop a generous amount of potatoes into small cubes (I went for +/- 1.5cm ) and parboil for about three or four minutes (so they come out fairly firm). The potatoes then go in a roasting tray with some unpeeled cloves of garlic, chopped up bits of pancetta (or smokey bacon) and yet more sage (definitely con Salvia!). Drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven for about ten minutes.

Returning to the chops, pan fry them in a little more olive oil for about ten minutes – they will be fairly well cooked with plenty of tasty browning on the skin. The chops then get placed on top of the potatoes and left in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. When I cooked it, I didn’t have a large enough pan so I cooked the largest two chops, put them on the potatoes and turned the heat down a bit in the oven, and then got the other two ready to add.

That gives you meat, potatoes and plenty of flavouring – a whole course that can be dished up straight from the pan. For a bit of extra colour (and goodness) some spinach leaves could be thrown in the pan for the last couple of minutes of cooking, just to wilt them a bit.


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