Pork is a common meat in Italian regional cuisine. Every city, town, and region in Italy has its specialties. Some of these specialty dishes have become classics that you will find in Italian communities scattered across the globe. Use this list as both a primer for what Italian pork dishes you could make at home or a buying guide for your next visit to an Italian deli, butcher, or regional restaurant.
Tuscan Pork Loin Cooked in Milk (Arista al Latte)
This Tuscan recipe is a wonderful, lemony way to prepare pork loin that can also be done ahead. The name Arista is used for roast pork in Tuscany, stemming from an ecumenical council with the Greek Orthodox Church.
Neapolitan Pork Rotolini (Braciole di Maiale)
This is a traditional Neapolitan recipe for pork braciole (slice of pork) rolled up around a filling with cheese, prosciutto, raisins, and pine nuts. It's an elegant dish to serve for dinner with a glass of red wine.
This hearty Milanese soup features pork, sausage, and cabbage. Try making it (or ordering it in a restaurant) for those who appreciate snout-to-tail cuisine as it uses a pig's trotter and a pig's ear in addition to ribs and pork rind. That may be a little too classic for some people.
Roast Suckling Pig (Maialino allo Spiedo)
Every region of Italy has its own recipe for roasting suckling pig. Fire, piglet, and time equal true classic Italian cuisine.
Pork is the base of most Italian cold cuts, which are collectively called salumi. Traditionally, hogs were butchered in the fall and these cured meats would be stable throughout the winter. Learn about the different types found in regions of Italy, including prosciutto, salami, sausages, and pancetta.
Tuscan Salami (Salame Toscano)
You can make this Tuscan cold cut from a recipe drawn from a 1772 manuscript. It's seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and garlic. You'll need a cool place to cure it for four to nine months.
Tuscan Finocchiona Salami
This fennel flavored salami can be made at home. You'll need time, since the recipe calls for the salami to be aged for four months.
Tuscan Pork Stew (Spezzatino di Maiale)
This classic stew uses cubed lean pork, tomato sauce, and cannellini or cranberry beans. Perfect to warm up a cold Italian night.
Tuscan-Style Roast Pig (Porchetta)
Roast pig is an ideal picnic food and also quite good as part of a festive meal (although not tremendously elegant). This recipe uses a small pig. At fairs, larger pigs are roasted and sliced to stuff sandwiches. It's common street food in central Italy.
Tuscan Sausage: La Salsiccia di Lucca
These sausages can be made and used fresh or you can age them for three to four days in a cool spot. The result is a mild sausage that is delicious grilled and you can also use them in a soup.