RECIPE: Italian-Style Porchetta


Pawnee House, in Oak Bluffs, is one of the restaurants that sends its scraps to Fork to Pork’s Jo Douglas for pig food. And Pawnee often has pork on its menu. Alex Cohen, co-owner of the restaurant with his wife, Deborrah (the chef), sent us this: 

We think Jo is an extraordinary human being! Below is the recipe for Debbie’s Italian-style Porchetta dish that we ran as a special after receiving our pig from Jo. We ran it as both a sandwich, as well as a dinner plate with various sides — it was out of this world!

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Italian-Style Porchetta

  • Author: Alex Cohen



For the Pork:

  • Pork Belly 1/2 lb per person
  • Pork Loin (with Italian-style porchetta you actually wrap the pork loin around the pork belly)

For the Rub:

  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Nutmeg
  • Thyme
  • Zest of an orange
  • 6 crushed Garlic Cloves
  • Fresh Fennel
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Generous cracked pepper


  1. Score the inside of the pork belly with diagonal lines about 2 inches apart using a crosspatch pattern. This is so the herb mixture can penetrate the inside of the pork belly.
  2. Freshly zest an orange and about a half grated nutmeg.
  3. Chop fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme to cover the base of the pork belly.
  4. Press all the fresh herbs into the belly. Fennel leaves are optional.
  5. Add cracked pepper, kosher salt, and six crushed garlic cloves.
  6. If you like a little heat, do a few pinches of red chili flakes. Press all of the herb spices into the belly, again.
  7. Place the pork loin on top of the herbs and spices on the pork belly and roll. Tie the Porchetta with kitchen twine about 2 inches apart. Score the tough side of the skin like crazy.  First left or right, then top, about 1 inch apart.  This will help to render out the fat and crisp the skin when cooking.
  8. You will need to dry the Porchetta in the refrigerator uncovered for 24 hours. This helps get that wonderful crispy skin.
  9. Preheat the oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil then place the Porchetta on the rack and bake for 3 to 8 hours depending on the size until the pork reaches a temperature of 160 Fahrenheit.
  10. Let rest for 30 minutes, then it’s ready to serve.


Serving suggestion: Make a sandwich with ciabatta, arugula, and salsa verde made with parsley, capers, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic.

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