I just love La Cucina Italiana.  Every issue has something in it that I just need to make. It’s especially good because I just can’t seen to get Italy out of my mind.  It really was the best vacation, ever.  I’d head back tonight if I could, but though we can’t go tonight, we are going for our 20th Anniversary in 2014.  I’m starting to put the pennies in the piggy bank.  I want to go to Sicily and bask in the Mediterranean, this time.

The latest issue had a recipe for pork cutlets with pine nuts and prosciutto.  I didn’t have pine nuts (???) and had some great speck, so the recipe was adapted to fit my ingredients.  It’s how I cook.

Pork Cutlets with Walnuts, Raisins, and Speck

(adapted from La Cucina Italiana.)

  • 1/4  cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins, plumped and drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Grana Padano cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1  garlic clove, crushed
  • 6 small pork cutlets, pounded
  • 6 thin slices speck

Heat oven to 475º.  Finely chop together nuts, raisins, parsley, and capers. Sir together nut mixture and cheese.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter and garlic over medium-high heat. Cook cutlets about 2 minutes per side, then transfer to a sheet pan. Mound nut mixture over cutlets, then wrap each cutlet with 1 slice speck.

Dot with remaining tablespoon butter; bake 5 minutes.

I have to say it came out pretty darn good.  I took the leftover filling and stirred it into some gnocchi and added some small mozzarella balls to the mix.

The saltiness of the capers, cheese, and speck negated the need for any salt at all.  And the sweetness of the raisins added juuuuuust the right balance.

This is another of those recipes that has a lot of variations just waiting to be made.

Ah, Italy…