I wish there were a prettier way of saying this, but this post is about pig skin, and no I’m not talking about football.
Growing up in an Italian-American household, this meant that we had a lot of pasta dinners and the sauce of choice was tomato. My mother would cook her sauce for hours, slowly working out the acidity of the tomatoes without adding onions or sugar. Then towards the end, she would add her pan fried homemade meatballs, sausage made by my grandfather at his shop, and rolls of pig skin.
I know that this might sound horrible to some people, but I can’t explain how delicious this can be. And since pig skin can be kinda hard to find these days, I got really excited when my mother told me that she had some that she didn’t want.
The preparation is simple. Cut the skin into large rectangles so they can be rolled up nicely. Then just chop up some parsley, garlic, and add some good Parmesan cheese. Since I’m lazy, I like to do this in my food processor. Spread this mixture onto the rough side of the skin and roll the whole thing up. Tie the roll together so it won’t come apart later when you cook it. Lastly, quickly pan fry the whole roll quickly before adding it to the sauce. At this point, it will need to cook a long time. We are talking hours here, and as it cooks it will plump up and shrink. Once the roll is soft and kinda translucent, it should be done. Cut it into little wheels and serve with pasta and sauce.
Word to the wise though, eat these little guys while they are HOT, otherwise they can get kinda sticky and unappealing. Otherwise, they are pretty incredible. The skin soaks up all the flavor from the sauce, garlic, parsley, and cheese to make a really rich treat. If you are a more adventurous kinda eater, it is definitely worth trying.