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Rosemary and Fennel Pork Ribs (Rosticciana)
In Tuscany, rosticciana is cooked on a grill and served with other meats, such and steak and sausage. We chose to focus on just the ribs and brought the recipe indoors so we could use the oven to create just the right moist environment for yielding ultratender and perfectly browned ribs. The seasonings are simple, so for the fullest, richest flavor, it's best to pulverize your own fennel seeds in a spice grinder. If convenience is key and you can find ground fennel seed at the grocery store, use the same amount as called for (1 tablespoon). The start-to-finish time for this recipe may be long, but the hands-on cooking is minimal. These ribs are delicious as is, or drizzle with lemon juice and fruity olive oil, if desired.
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
tablespoons packed light brown sugar
01Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, the sugar, ground fennel, pepper flakes, garlic and 4 teaspoons of rosemary. Rub the mixture between your fingertips until well combined and the rosemary is fragrant. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of the racks of ribs, then thoroughly rub it in.
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