Home Italy Revisited Bookshelf Plays About Mary Melfi Contact Us
X Italian Meat Dishes
Beans and pork
Beans and Pork
Originated from: Casacalenda, Campobasso
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Mary Melfi (her mother's recipe)

Printer Friendly Version


4 Pork's Feet

2 cups dried white cannelloni beans or white pea beans (or 2 cans of beans, 19 oz each)

Large pot of water for cooking beans and pork
2 teaspoons salt

For tossing sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, whole [traditional method] or chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 bay leaf (optional)
1/2 cup water in which the beans were cooked in

3 dried sweet red peppers
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot chillies (optional)

Seasonings (optional):

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano


1. Soak beans overnight.

2. In a separate bowl soak pig's feet overnight (in the fridge).

3a. Version I (Traditional Method). Bring to boil a large pot of water. Add porks, beans and salt. Cook for about 3/4 of an hour. When the beans and pork have been cooked, reserve the liquid.

3b. Version II. Cook beans in one pan. Cook pork's feet in another. Using separate pans will decrease the amount of grease in the beans. When the beans and pork have been cooked, reserve the liquid.

4. Peel garlic cloves. Keep whole (traditional method) or chop.

5. Peel and chop onions.

6. Heat up oil and fry garlic and onions until golden.

7. Add cooked beans and cooked pork, adding about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water the pork and beans have been cooked in (traditional method). To avoid too much grease, one can use the water the beans were cooked in. Or, alternatively, one can avoid using any water whatsoever (Modern method).

9. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes.

10. Serve warm with vegetable greens.


Prior to World War II "pork with beans" was considered a rather special meal. Many cooks, including my maternal grandmother, served this meal during the Carnival festivities. Because meat (including pork) was expensive at the time, it's safe to say that few individuals (if any) would have had the pleasure of eating an entire pig's foot in one sitting. Either it would have been shared, or it would have been reserved for yet another meal.... Photo: by the contributor.

Back to main list