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The name of this dish “Uccellini Scappati’ means “Birds that got away”. Bergamo has many hunters and typically they hunt birds that are then cooked on a skewer and served with polenta. When the unlucky hunter cames back home with no bird, his wife would prepare the ‘birds that got away’. So there are no birds for this dish, they got away, but only pork and a bit of cheese.

4 thin cut pork loin slices

8-12 slices pancetta (substitute with un-smoked bacon)

3-4 sticks pancetta

8 slices fontina cheese (or other similar mildly flavored cheese)

8 leaves sage

¼ cup white wine

EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)



Start by pounding the meat slices as thin as possible. To do that place the slices on a cutting board and then cover them with plastic wrap. Pound them with a skillet or a meat pounder until very thin.

Cut the pounded slices into two pieces. Place on each slice the pancetta...

... the cheese ...

... and the sage (fresh whole leaves would be better, but I found none at my grocery store)

Roll the meat and put the rolls alternated with pancetta slices and sage leaves (if you have them) on two skewers.

Brown the rolls in a pan where you have warmed a bit of oil

When they are seared on one side, flip them over and brown on the other side. Add salt and pepper on both sides.

Add a splash of dry white wine.

Cover the pan. When the rolls are seared on one side, turn them over and brown on the other side.

When the meat is almost ready, uncover and let the sauce reduce. Serve hot with polenta, roasted potatoes or your favorite side vegetables.

Enjoy the Ham and Cheese Meat Rolls! Pola