Not too far from Norcia is Spoleto, the city of music, where each year the festival dei Due Mondi is held, attracting music lovers from all over the world. The food here, as in other parts of Umbria, is defined by its fine extra-virgin olive oil and pork products.
These savory and easy to prepare pork chops are characteristic of the style of cooking alla Spoletina, which utilizes the local ingredients of olives, olive oil, and Orvieto Classico wine.
6 pitted oil cured Kalamata olives
6 pitted oil cured Cerignola or other green olives
4 center cut pork chops
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Grinding coarse black pepper
3 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup dry white wine such as Orvieto Classico
Use a chef's knife to mince the olives together into a fine paste. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and set aside.
Dry the pork chops well on both sides with paper towels. This will help to insure that they brown well. Drop them into a heavy-duty paper bag with the flour, salt, and pepper. Close the bag and shake to coat the chops. Remove them from the bag, shaking off the excess flour and place them on a dish.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan large enough to hold the chops in one layer. When the oil begins to shimmer and smoke, add the chops, lower the heat to medium, and brown them well on both sides. Pour in 3/4 cup of the wine and allow most of it to evaporate. Remove the chops to a dish and keep them warm. Stir the olive paste and the remaining wine into the pan and scrape up any bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Pour the sauce over the chops and serve immediately.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA IN UMBRIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2002.
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