Rosticciana has become a favorite for our travelers on the Bike Across Italy: Venice to Pisa trips. In fact the serving plate always ends up empty which is rare given the quantity of food the Italian’s traditionally tempt us with.
This recipe comes to us courtesy of the chef of the Ristorante Leonardo in Vinci. Italian’s cook ad occhio, or by “eyeing” quantities so be prepared for some experimentation as you hone in on the amounts that you prefer.
This recipe dates back to the 600-700 centuries when the tomato was still unknown in Italy and fruit was used as a sauce for meat.
In a skillet cook 2lbs of rosticciana (can be pork ribs or spare ribs) in a pan with 3 cloves of garlic (in Italian this is called aglio in camicia which means garlic with its skin), laurel, 1 sprig of both rosemary and sage. Add some salt and pepper (better yet – use peperoncino chili pepper). As the meat cooks add some white wine to keep it from burning.
In a saucepan add apricots and dried plums (in a ratio of 2/3 of apricots and 1/3 of plums) with plum juice and some water. Let it cook slowly adding water or plum juice if needed. Once the fruits begin “melting”, remove from heat and beat to create a fruit purée.
When the meat is done, remove the odori (garlic, laurel, rosemary and sage) and add the fruit sauce to the rosticciana . Cook it for some minutes so the flavors meld and buon appetito!