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Thursday 17 June 2021

Good people Beans with pork rind from Fargaccetto

Beans with pork rind from Fargaccetto

Author of the content

Fargaccetto was a delicatessen seller from Velletri, a town that is about forty kilometers from Rome, where I spent a period of my childhood. I never understood if it was a nickname (the farmer in Velletri dialect is a "fargo") or the real surname: it is certain that he sold very delicious things for me, starting with a sweet and tasty ham as rarely afterwards it happened to eat. The hams are good, the pork rinds are good, that is the brown skin around the ham that the butcher cut with the knife before starting to cut the slices.

Those long fragments of seasoned skin, which became hard and calloused, were sold separately: they were used to prepare beans with pork rinds, once a dish almost obligatory in Roman houses and among my most vivid memories.

The preparation was very simple. The dried borlotti beans, that is those colored in various shades of brown (and with a white "eye"), were put in cold water with a pinch of salt the night before so that they rehydrated. The next morning they first boiled the pork rinds after having scraped them well on the outside: they had to cook until they had become tender. At this point it was necessary to drain them well and put them for a while in a pan with a sauté of oil and onion, celery, carrots and tomato puree in abundance. It was left to boil until the sauce became dense: at this point boiled and drained beans were added, salt was added if necessary and left to simmer for about a quarter of an hour: the chilli pepper is optional.

Beans with pork rind
Beans with pork rind. Photo credit: AliceTV

The result is an exquisite dish, even if the pork rinds, now difficult to find on the market, are no longer those of Fargaccetto: the hams are usually "salted in the bath" and no longer massaged one by one, several times over time with salt, pepper and spices, with the result that pork rinds today are rather tasteless: however, in my opinion, beans with pork rinds remain a very respectable dish of the ancient Roman culinary tradition.

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