I have a history of going on food binges. Apparently, I become obsessed with a particular ingredient, and then for weeks, I’ll prepare it in various different ways until my husband usually begs me to stop. Some previous binges have included artichokes, fava beans, lamb, and recently pork belly. Although I have always liked pork belly, it isn’t until our friend and chef Vincenzo Betulia added a new pork belly recipe to his Bar Tulia menu in Naples, Florida, that it became my focus. Perfectly cooked, pork belly has everything from crispy skin to fall apart in your mouth tender interior.
Pork belly isn’t sold everywhere, so you probably have to go to a specialty store or butcher to find it. I ordered a large piece from D’Artagnan online. I cut the piece into portions for two once it arrived at my door, and I have been playing with different preparations ever since. Although I have enjoyed my pork belly anyway I prepared it, this Italian version stood out.
This recipe is best started the night before you intend to cook and serve it as the meat requires salting overnight. You can cook your beans from scratch, either soaking them overnight and cooking them stovetop or using my easy Instant Pot Method, or you can simplify things and use canned beans. I felt that the vibrant green sauce I made for this dish lightened it up and was a great combination, but honestly, the meat and beans are delicious on their own without the sauce.
Deborah Mele 2021
- 1 Kg Pork Belly, Skin On
- 1 Cup Coarse Salt
- 6 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- 4 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
- 1 Cup Olive Oil
- 4 Cups Cooked Cannellini Beans (or 2 Cans, Drained) (See Notes Above)
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1 Cup Fresh Parsley Leaves
- 1 Anchovy
- 1 Tablespoon Capers
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 Lemon Zested & Juiced
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Score the skin of the pork belly with a sharp knife and place in a shallow dish.
- Rub the salt over the belly along with the garlic and half the rosemary.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, rinse the salt off the pork and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 4 hours.
- Let pork cool, then remove fat and cool completely, reserving some of the fat for later.
- Weight the pork down with a plate and a heavy can and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- While the pork is in the refrigerator prepare the green sauce by pureeing the parsley, anchovy, capers, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil until blended.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. (Be careful with the salt as the anchovy and capers ate salty!)
- For the beans, in a heavy saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil until simmering and then add the rosemary and garlic.
- Cook for a minute and then stir in the beans.
- Cook just until warmed through then set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Take the pork belly from the refrigerator and cut into 1-inch slices.
- Heat 1/4 cup of the reserved fat in a heavy ovenproof skillet, and place the pork belly skin side down in the pan.
- Return the pork belly to the oven until it is heated through and the skin is crispy.
- Divide the beans into four individual shallow bowls, top with the pork belly slices, and then drizzle with the green sauce.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!