50-Pound PORCHETTA ROAST: Sunday Supper at Lucca (Irvine)
Lucca’s Sunday Supper Porchetta was more than worthy of Mario Batali (the event was a Batali-inspired theme).
Chef-owner Cathy Pavlos created a hybrid Batali recipe rolling up 3 boned pork shoulders then wrapping them in pork bellies! Crisp on the outside, moist and herbaceous on the inside. It roasted all day, after it had brined for 24 hours.
True hog heaven. Pavlos said it was kind of a Frankenstein version, having incorporated different cuts to assemble the luscious roast. “It’s exactly what I wanted,” she said with a signature grin.
Starters: Sliced salami from Mario Batali’s dad – sourced at his shop in Seattle, Salumi. Plus superb eggplant caponata with a little chile kick – a punch balanced with sweet raisins. My pal Mona said, “hmmm, it’s so good, it’s a little Indian-eee. Good call, Mona.
Roasted peppers, plus gorgeous olives, served with 2010 Valle Reale Trebbiano Vigne Nuove.
Buffalo Mozzarella in Carozza with Basil Pesto. Mama mia, Italy’s answer to glorious cheese-spiked French toast.
Did I mention the stuffed zuke blossoms?
Second Course: Bucatini all’Amatriciana (with bacon made in house) adorned with yellow teardrop tomatoes and freshly grated Pecorino Pepato. Served with 2009 Michele Chialo Barbera d’Asti DOGG. Love those long strand of hollow pasta – they drink up the flavor.
The Main: Carved porchetta served with Italian-style salsa verde. Drooling? Troublemaker by Austin Hope filled our glasses.
On the side, baked apples stuffed with cippoline onions in agrodolce and figs, topped with gorgonzola dulce. So good I considered sneaking one into my pulse. (Note to self: bring big purse to Lucca’s Sunday Suppers.)
Shaved Fennel and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette. Followed by Tiramisu topped with fresh berries for dessert.
NEXT: Lucca Sunday Supper with a new theme will be held Sunday, August 12th at 3 p.m. SHARP with family-style dining of a four-course menu with wine pairings for $60 per guest++. Reservations are mandatory at least 48 hours in advance and can be made by calling (949) 725-1773. Free parking available to all guests.
Lucca, 6507 Quail Hill Parkway (south of the 405 at Sand Canyon), Irvine