(= Roast Leg of Wild Boar)
Recommended wine: L'Abbandonato Riserva Montecucco Sangiovese D.O.C.G.
Use a sharp knife to remove any unwanted, callous parts from the meat; cut it open “a libro” (= like a book) and season with salt and pepper. Finely chop the leaves of 2 sprigs of rosemary, 2 sage leaves, and the cloves of garlic with some salt and pepper. Use the tip of a knife to make 6-7 incisions, about 1 cm deep, here and there in the meat; insert some of the chopped herb mixture into each one. “Close” the meat and tie it up with kitchen string. Insert the slices of bacon and remaining rosemary and sage between the meat and the string. Season with some more salt and pepper and place it in a roasting pan, with 3-4 spoonfuls of olive oil in the bottom; drizzle the remaining oil over the top and cover with a sheet of aluminium foil. Cook in a preheated oven, at 160 °C, for roughly 2 hours. Half way through the cooking time take the pan out of the oven, remove the foil and pour in the white wine; cover the pan again and continue cooking, basting the meat with a few spoonfuls of its juices once or twice. After 2 hours check to see whether it is well browned, and if it isn’t, remove the foil, increase the temperature to 200 °C and cook for another 10-15 minutes, turning the meat from time to time so it becomes a nice golden brown. When you take it out of the oven, leave it to cool down; then remove the string and slice it on a carving board. Arrange the slices of meat on a serving dish and drizzle over it some of the “sauce” that has formed in the bottom of the pan, nice and hot. Serve accompanied by the rest of the “sauce” from the pan and... buon appetito!
(= Ricotta and Spinach Roulade)
Recommended wine: Ca' dell'Oro V.S.Q.
In a bowl, mix the ricotta with the grated aged pecorino, chopped pistachios, eggs, breadcrumbs, some salt and pepper, and the basil leaves (washed, patted dry and ripped up by hand). Carefully clean and wash the spinach, put it in a saucepan while still dripping wet and put the lid on. Cook for a few minutes stirring several times; the volume of the spinach will diminish considerably during cooking. Strain the spinach when it’s still “al dente” (the leaves mustn’t fall apart), wait 5-10 minutes for it to cool a little, then squeeze it well, forming small balls, and chop it coarsely with a knife. Now heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and add the shallot (cleaned and finely chopped). When it has turned golden brown, add the spinach, season with salt and cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and leave to cool down.
Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper on your work surface, tip the ricotta mixture onto it and shape it into a rectangle approximately 1.5 cm thick. Create a layer of spinach on top and then a layer of slices of fresh pecorino. Now, using the greaseproof paper to help you and beginning from one of the long sides, roll everything up; wrap the paper all around the roll and tie both ends up tightly with string. Transfer the roulade into a baking pan, cover with kitchen foil and cook in a preheated oven, at 180 °C, for 40 minutes. Take it out of the oven, leave it to cool down completely and, after removing the paper, lay your roulade “roast” on a chopping board and cut it into slices about 2 cm thick. If you like, you can serve it with a tomato sauce and a few basil leaves.
(1) “Gattò” (pronounced like the French gâteau) is the name, inherited during French dominion and revisited “Arezzo-style”, of a cake from this area that, in its shape and colour, recalls the dish described in this recipe.