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Pork Bundles With Pancetta and Herbs

Pork Bundles With Pancetta and Herbs 4.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Feb 19, 2018

This dish’s Italian name is Uccelli Scappati, which can be translated as “birds that have flown away.” As explained by cookbook author Anna Del Conte, these small bundles of pork are cooked similarly to the way small birds are done in Lombardy and other Italian regions.

You will need 4 long toothpicks (or cut bamboo skewers) -- just long enough to hold together 3 bundles each; they help keep the bundles together as they cook.

You may need to trim the pork bundles once they are rolled, to make them easier to handle and to ensure they all fit in the pan; we added the trimmed bits to the pan, too, around the edges, and served them along with the bundles.

Where to Buy: Thinly sliced pork loin cutlets are best to start with here; if you can, choose ones that have the same shape or trim them that way. Or you can buy a boneless pork loin roast and trim the visible fat; freeze for 20 minutes or so to make slicing easier.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 12 thin boneless pork loin cutlets (about 1 pound total; see headnote)
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slices pancetta (not smoked; 5 ounces total)
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Thin slices of yellow onion (enough to cover the bottom of a large skillet, from 1 small yellow onion)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine


Arrange the pork cutlets on a cutting board; place between two layers of plastic wrap and pound them to a thickness of no more than 1/4 inch. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Place a piece of pancetta on each pounded cutlet, trimming the pancetta a bit smaller than the pork loin cutlet, as needed. Scatter a few needles of fresh rosemary over the pancetta pieces. Roll up each layered set, starting from a long side. Thread each toothpick as follows: one sage leaf, one pork bundle. Repeat to create a trio of bundles on each stick.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once the foam subsides, increase the heat to medium and cook, for 5 to 6 minutes total, just until the butter starts to turn golden and some of its solids begin to brown.

Arrange the onion slices so they cover the butter and bottom of the pan, then lay the speared bundles atop the onion (and any trimmed bits around them in the pan; see the headnote). Cook (medium heat) for 2 or 3 minutes, then turn the skewers over the cook for about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine; increase the heat to medium-high and cook for a couple of minutes.

Taste, and adjust the salt and/or pepper, as needed. During this time, the meat’s juices will be released and mix in with the winy liquid; but there should be only about 1 tablespoon per serving of liquid when finished.

Serve warm, with some of the onion.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Classic Food of Northern Italy,” by Anna Del Conte (Pavilion, 2017).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 400

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 29g 45%

Saturated Fat: 12g 60%

Cholesterol: 120mg 40%

Sodium: 870mg 36%

Total Carbohydrates: 4g 1%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 1g

Protein: 30g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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