I love the simplicity and elegance of Italian cooking. My go-to resource for Italian cooking is Marcella Hazan. I had the privilege of studying with her in Italy many years ago and I still frequently consult Marcella’s “The Classic Italian Cookbook,” now sadly out of print.
Fortunately, many of her recipes have been reprinted in other cookbooks and can often be found online. One I use frequently is Pan-Roasted Spareribs, Treviso Style that was published several years ago by Ciao Donata. I love the sage and the simplicity of this dish, but it does leave the surrounding area of your stove a bit of a mess.
The latest edition of Milk Street published a similar recipe for spareribs that use the oven rather than braising on the stove. I used baby-backs and reduced the cooking time significantly. Found below is the Milk Street recipe that uses regular spareribs.
Oven-Roasted Rosemary and Fennel Pork Ribs
- Kosher Salt and Ground Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar packed
- 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary minced
- 1 Tablespoon fennel seeds ground finely
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 racks spareribs about 2 1/2 to 3 lbs each
- Heat the oven to 325°F with the rack in the middle position. Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons of salt, 1 Tablespoon of black pepper, the brown sugar, rosemary, ground fennel, pepper flakes, and garlic. Mix well and then gently rub/sprinkle the mixture over the two slabs of ribs.
- Place the ribs on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and add 3 cups of water into the baking sheet. Bake until well browned about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Pork should be tender and almost falling off the bone. Transfer to cutting board and allow to rest for 20 minutes.