In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across the world. See how much money you can save — and fun you can have — by cooking these dishes at home!
This week: Sicilian Stuffed Loin of Pork from Grotta Azzurra, in Little Italy, New York City
The San Gennaro Festival, the crowded and joyful celebration in New York City’s Little Italy neighborhood, celebrates its 77th birthday this year. On hand once again for the annual 11-day celebration of the patron saint of Naples is Grotto Azzurra, a landmark restaurant that was once a hangout for Frank Sinatra and his fellow Rat Packers.
Founded by the Davino family in 1908 on the corner of Mulberry and Broome streets in the heart of Little Italy, Grotta Azzurra is named after the Blue Grotto on the island of Capri. Once a fixture of the area, the restaurant closed in 1997, then was completely renovated by descendants of the Davino family and reopened in September 2003.
Heading up the kitchen is executive chef Chris Pfeifer, who is incorporating several Grotta Azzurra classics, such as lobster fra diavolo and steak pizziola, into what he calls a “new seasonal Italian market menu.” One of the new dishes is Sicilian Stuffed Loin of Pork, the recipe for which Wednesday Food “stole” so you can cook it at home.
More about the chef: Little Italy has long been known as a red-sauce-for-tourists dining destination, but there's been a recent culinary explosion with the arrival of chefs such as Pfeifer. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, Pfiefer is a veteran of top New York kitchens, including Le Chantilly, Spiaggia and Restaurant Daniel.
(PLEASE NOTE: Ingredient prices are estimates and based on national averages. Amounts listed are for one portion. Increase proportionately according to number of portions desired.)
Sicilian Stuffed Loin of PorkChris Pfeifer
for one portion
Use a sharp knife to slice the pork loin in half lengthwise, without cutting all the way in half. Once the pork has been split, cover with plastic wrap and pound with a mallet to make a uniform thickness. Salt and pepper both sides of the loin. Begin stuffing preparation by removing sausage from its casing and crumbling into a sauté pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sauté on high heat until sausage is browned. Drain the grease and set aside to cool. In a separate bowl, combine sausage with remaining ingredients, then salt and pepper to taste. Place a line of the stuffing down the length of the loin, then fold loin over to cover the line of stuffing. Tie the loin with kitchen string and cook for one hour in a 350 degree oven. Baste loin with drippings several times during cooking. Remove loin from the oven, and cut off the string. Allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.9123289604816048233091pork loin8ounce1 center-cut of pork loin (about 8 ounces) ($2.25)Italian sausage11 link sweet Italian sausage ($0.88)olive oil1teaspoon1 teaspoon olive oil ($0.08)chopped cooked spinach0.6666666666666666cup2/3 cup chopped cooked spinach ($0.37)breadcrumbs2tablespoon2 tablespoons breadcrumbs ($0.04)raisins2tablespoon2 tablespoons raisins ($0.08)pine nuts2tablespoon2 tablespoons pine nuts ($0.41)diced mozzarella0.25cup1/4 cup diced mozzarella ($0.32)balsamic vinaigrette1tablespoon1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette ($0.12)
Food Editor Phil Lempert brings you the latest news and advice about shopping and cooking.
177 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10013
Want to find out how you can make your favorite restaurant dish at home? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his website at www.supermarketguru.com.