Pork Roast with Tomatoes and Fennel (Arista di Maiale con Pomodori e Finocchio)
Preparation time: 75 min.
A simple Tuscan dish with impressive looks. Fennel, another favorite which grows wild in the Tuscany hills, imparts a light and refreshing flavor that seeps into the roast while cooking.
Green Beans and Potatoes (Fagiolini con Patate) are a great sidekick to the roast pork.
- 3 rosemary twigs, finely chopped
- 3 thyme twigs, finely chopped
- 3 oregano twigs, finely chopped
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 900 gr (about 2 lbs) boneless pork roast, trimmed of excessive fat and crisscrossed on top
- 250 gr (1 cup) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium size onion (about 1 cup ), coarsely chopped
- 2 large fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
- 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
- 2 teasp fennel seeds
Chop rosemary, thyme, oregano and bay leaves finely in a food mill. In a bowl, mix herbs, juice and zest of the lemon together with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Make a rough paste out of it and set aside.
Place pork roast on a cutting board and rub it all over with the herb mix.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat and brown pork roast on all sides. Transfer pork to a roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180°C (375°F).
Add onion and chopped fennel to saucepan and sauté until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and cook it for 2 minutes longer over high heat. Lower heat and add chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for about 5-8 minutes, or until tomatoes start falling apart. Pour tomato fennel sauce around the pork roast and sprinkle it with fennel seeds. Taste for salt and pepper again. If sauce seems too thick add a bit water to it. Roast for about 45 minutes, basting it with the sauce once in a while.
Remove roast from oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes. Slice meat and serve with the fennel tomato sauce.