This post is also available in: Italian

Finally, the first cold snap comes, stuck at home with sinusitis, boredom takes its toll and I have to push myself to do anything. Finally I drag myself to the kitchen but I need inspiration in line with my health.

I go out and I go to the market in Via Trionfale, I’m sure I’ll find something that will shake my mood and my health.

I’ve been wanting to go to the butcher and buy some meat for a while, and here finally the rollers of my brain start to spin at the sight of a nice piece of black pork. I get some black ribs which I can bake with the last plums of this season that I have at home.

Finally it is coming back to the table this gorgeous flesh of animals that graze in our mountains. On the Lepini mountains there is a subspecies that once had been abandoned for its low productivity.

According to research on the site of the Arsial, this black pig which takes its name from the colour of its skin came from China around 1500.

It is said to have been brought by a member of the Caetani family, who had one of his most beautiful castles right in Sermoneta, to introduce it to the Lepini mountains.

In any case the black pig is specified in a section in the ancient Statutes of Carpineto Romano of 1556. Today they are raised on pastures just like then.

The Castle and the black pig, which makes an excellent prosciutto in Bassiano, are two great excuses for a visit around here.

Recipe for Black pork ribs with prunes

Pork ribs are also called ‘trimmings’. I add them to the pan and get the last plums. I let the pork cook on low heat with only olive oil and a few grains of pepper and salt.

Do not put other fragrances because the stars of the plate are plums and this meat enjoyed to the hilt. Especially when the meat is as fresh as that from my Via Tronfale market butcher.

Add the prunes halfway through cooking and then as a final touch put the pan in the oven to brown with a hint of honey added. The oven, I set it nice and hot at 220 degrees for a few minutes, we say that it is ready when it is the colour you desire.

Memories of family holidays. It reminds me of the snow and the fireplace. But maybe that’s why I have to wait a while. Meanwhile I do get over the sinusitis with this recipe.

The wine? I have no doubt: a good Pinot Noir Hofstatter riserva Mazzon.

Dario Magno

ITA Semplice spadellatore casalingo, fin da bambino sono stato affascinato dall’odore dei banchi del mercato al mattino presto: sono fonte di ispirazione. Il piatto che porto a tavola la domenica è frutto di un immersione nei colori e negli odori di quella magica ‘scatola’ del mercato rionale. L’occhio e la gola vanno quasi esclusivamente sui prodotti locali che miscelo quasi di getto, non progetto nulla. Odio chi dice io l’avrei fatto così: fallo e non rompere! Ci sono pizzicaroli (romanesco) che sono più bravi di psicoterapeuta, li amo. In ogni posto che vado porto a casa qualcosa un formaggio, un salume e un vino. Vino, croce della mia passione. Non toglietemi i vermentini liguri! Una scuola professionale alle spalle in viticultura mai sfruttata che però forse un segno me lo ha lasciato.