Italian Roast Pork, Just in Time for Tops’ Italian Days


Florence photo by Matt Grigsby.

It’s Italian Days at Tops Market in Weaverville and Redding. In addition to such Italian staples as pastas and sauces, Tops Market (formerly Sunset Marketplace, in Redding) also has its own ground sausage – mild or spicy ($2.99 a pound).

Plus, Tops Market makes its own meatballs ($3.99 a pound). But what really caught my eye was the pork shoulder roast ($1.79 a pound). Now that fall is here, and the temperatures are dropping, it seems the perfect time to pull out a recipe for Roast Pork, Florentine Style.

This recipe in an adaptation  from the book, “Once Upon a Tuscan Table – Tales and Recipes from Trattoria Garga,” by Sharon Oddson Gargani, who autographed the book for me when I attended her cooking class in Florence in 2007 after I interviewed her for a story.

After hearing rave reviews from two fellow foodies who said Tratorria Garga was the best restaurant in Florence, I tried to eat at the Trattoria Garga twice: once on my honeymoon, and a decade later to celebrate the 10th anniversary.

The first time we showed up at Trattoria Garga, there no openings. The second time we had reservations, but when we arrived, there were workmen crawling all over the place, and there’d been some kind of outage that had closed the restaurant unexpectedly. We left for the U.S. the following day, Trattoria Garga-less.

So I got the cookbook, and Oddson’s promise that if I ever returned to Florence, a free meal would be waiting for me at Trattoria Garga. Well, in the meantime, let’s make our own Italian meal from Oddson’s book, starting with this Roast Pork, Florentine Style. As you roast this pork, the aroma of the rosemary, garlic and olive oil will almost make you swear you’re in Florence.

(Meet me at Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Redding Tops Market Cannonball wine-tasting and we can dream about it.) Ciao!

Roast Pork, Florentine Style

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 lbs. pork roast

Additional salt

Additional freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic and rosemary in a small bowl. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and mix well. Cover the entire roast with the rosemary garlic mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the roast in the pan, fat side down. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn the roast so the fat side is up. Roast for another 90 minutes, basting three times (at 25-minute intervals) with pan juices.

Remove pan from oven, but let roast sit in the pan for another 10 minutes off the heat (cover to keep warm). Transfer to a cutting board. Carve 1/4 inch slices.

This recipe sponsored by Tops Market in Weaverville and Redding.

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Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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