Italian Street Food - Paola Bacchia

Paola Bacchia's Italian Street Food: Recipes from Italy's Bars and Hidden Laneways is a delicious journey along the streets of Italy sharing stories of her food and people. Bacchia not only wrote this book, she also took most of the stunning photographs found throughout its pages.
Street food has been a steadily growing trend for the the last decade and is one of my passions. I find that you learn a great deal about the people and culture of a city or country by sampling what everyday people enjoy on a daily basis. Street food is no longer hot dogs and pretzels - there are delicious gourmet offerings being found on streets worldwide and Italy is no exception.
Panzerotti, Suppli al Telefono con Ragu, and Pan di Ramerino are a few examples of the recipes shared here and as always the full index of recipes is available at Eat Your Books. The chapter devoted to sweets includes gelatos, fried doughnuts, and cookies and might sidetrack your New Year's resolutions.

This title is a trip to the streets of Italy, its neighborhood bars and gelato shops without needing a passport. The photographs of the food are indeed tempting  - but the photographs of the people and streets of Italy hold all the joy for this reader. 

Special thanks to Smith Street Books and the author for sharing one of Italian Street Food's recipes with our members, Panino con porchetta. Please be sure to enter our contest to win one of three copies of this fascinating title for our members in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. 


Panino con porchetta {Porchetta roll}

Porchetta is one of the ultimate street foods of central Italy. When making it at home, use a piece of pork belly with the loin still attached and the skin on. If the loin has been separated, you can purchase a piece of loin and stuff this into the middle of the belly. This recipe is from my friend Verdiana's sister who lives in Spoleto. This recipe makes enough porchetta to feed a group of 12 hungry friends or family with leftovers for a few days.

8 large garlic cloves, minced
1½ tablespoons rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons wild fennel or fennel fronds, finely chopped
2 heaped tablespoons sea salt flakes, plus extra to serve
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 kg (6 lb 10 oz) pork belly, loin attached, skin on
bread rolls, to serve

In a small bowl, make a paste with the garlic, rosemary, fennel, salt and olive oil.

Score the flesh side of the pork and rub the paste into the flesh with your finger tips. Roll up tightly and tie with kitchen string at 6 cm (2½ in) intervals. Place the rolled porchetta on a wire rack in a roasting tin, and set aside in the fridge, uncovered, to rest overnight (your fridge will have a divine smell of garlic).

Remove the pork from the fridge and pat dry with kitchen towel if the skin is at
all damp. Allow the pork to come to room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).

Cook the porchetta for 31/2 hours. At the end of cooking, turn up the heat to 250°C (480°F) (or as high as your oven will go) for about 30 minutes, turning the porchetta regularly and checking that it doesn't burn. This last step ensures that a crackling forms on the outside of the porchetta. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.

Cut the bread rolls in half and thinly slice the porchetta. Pile the porchetta onto the bottom half of each roll making sure you include thin pieces of crackling. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Recipe and images courtesy of Smith Street Books and Paola Bacchia.



  • annieski  on  1/6/2017 at 7:02 AM

    I haven't been to Italy. I would like to go. When I saw this title I remembered a wonderful trip to Little Italy, in NYC.

  • curafresh  on  1/23/2017 at 10:14 AM

    would definitely enjoy this book. Small bites and street food of any cuisine are my favourite things to make!

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