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X Italian Pasta Dishes
Tagliatelle with Pork Skin Rolls
Tagliatelle con Braciole di Maiale (Tagliatelle with Pork Skin Rolls)
Originated from: Casacalenda, Molise, Italy
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Mary Melfi (her mother's recipe)

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For Tagliatelle [See Everyday Pasta Dough Recipe]

4 cups flour
1 to 1 1/2 cup water

Water for soaking pork skin
Water for cooking pasta
1 tablespoon salt to put in water with pasta
1 teaspoon salt to put in water with pork skin

For Tomato Sauce

2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, skinned and finely diced
1 or 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped [for pork skin rolls]
A bunch of fresh basil
1 pound pork skin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon hot red chillies (optional)

For Garnishing
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Parmesan cheese


To make tagliatelle

1. Make everyday pasta dough [See recipe]

2. Cut into strips of dough, 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.

To prepare pork skin rolls

1. Place pork skin (cleaned of all fat) in a separate pot of cold water.

2. Soak pork skin overnight (or 8 hours or so).

3. Drain pork skin.

4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pork skin for about 35 minutes.

5. Drain.

6. Dry pork skin with paper towels.

7. Cut strips of pork skin -- about 2 1/2 inches wide and 4 inches long.

8. Salt pork skin. Season with a bit of chopped parsley and chopped garlic.

9. Roll up the strips of seasoned pork skin. Tie with string (Dental floss works well).

To prepare tomato sauce

1. Heat up olive oil.

2. Saute onion and garlic till a light golden color.

3. Add pork skin rolls and saute for a three to four minutes.

4. Add diced tomatoes. Add basil and season with salt.

5. Cook the sauce over medium heat for about 25 minutes.

6. Remove basil from sauce and discard.

7. Remove string from pork skin rolls.

To prepare pasta

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.

2. Add salt to the water.

3. Add home-made tagliatelle and and cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Drain.

5. In a large bowl mix tagliatelle with about 1/4 of tomato sauce.

6. Arrange pasta in individual bowls.

7. Top each dish with more sauce.

8. Add a pork skin roll on each dish.

9. Garnish with fresh parsley (optional) and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the pasta.

10. Serve warm, with salad greens.


Apparently, prior to World War II, pork skin rolls were considered a major treat. Often, they were made for the Carnival festivities. According to my mother the pork rolls were always stewed in red sauce. Back then farmers had access to fresh tomatoes up to early December, so most cooks would make red sauce with fresh tomatoes from August to December, and then make it with concentrated tomato paste from January to August. Because not everyone could afford to can tomatoes (The glass containers were expensive) "red sauce" had more status than "white sauce." Naturally, any pasta dish that contained both tomatoes and pork (also a delicacy) would be highly prized. Personally, I did not find this particular dish very appealing, but that's O.K. I'm not doing these "traditional" dishes simply to enjoy eating them but to understand the world my ancestors lived in.... Photo: by the contributor.

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