This indulgent dish combines succulent rolled pork belly with aromatic roasted fennel and a luxurious sage and saffron risotto. The richness of the pork, paired with the aniseed notes of fennel and the earthy, herbaceous flavors of the risotto, creates a meal that is both comforting and sophisticated.


For the pork belly:

  • 1.7 kg higher-welfare boneless pork belly, skin scored
  • 2 bunches of sage (40g total), leaves picked
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Red wine vinegar

For the roasted fennel:

  • 4 large bulbs of fennel, trimmed and cut into wedges
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sage & saffron risotto:

  • 500 g risotto rice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 1 big pinch of saffron strands, infused in 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1.5 liters chicken or vegetable stock, kept hot on the stove
  • 60 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • A few sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the Pork Belly:
    • Preheat your oven to 220°C (430°F).
    • Rub the pork belly with olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. Place half of the sage leaves on the flesh side of the pork belly. Roll the belly tightly and tie with kitchen string to secure. Place in a roasting tray, skin-side up.
    • Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160°C (320°F) and continue to roast for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and the skin is crispy.
  2. Roast the Fennel:
    • Toss the fennel wedges with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them around the pork belly in the roasting tray about 1 hour before the pork is done.
    • Roast until tender and caramelized, turning occasionally.
  3. Make the Sage & Saffron Risotto:
    • In a large pan, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until soft and translucent.
    • Add the risotto rice and stir for a minute until the grains are well-coated and start to turn translucent.
    • Pour in the white wine and let it simmer until almost evaporated.
    • Add the saffron-infused water and a ladleful of hot stock. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock a ladle at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is al dente, about 18-20 minutes.
    • Stir in the grated Parmesan, chopped sage, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve:
    • Slice the rolled pork belly into thick slices.
    • Serve with roasted fennel on the side and a generous helping of sage and saffron risotto.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 980
  • Fat: 58g
  • Carbohydrates: 77g
  • Protein: 48g

Prep and Cooking Time

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 3 hours 30 minutes


  • Serves: 6 people

This recipe for Rolled Pork Belly with Roasted Fennel, Sage & Saffron Risotto offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors that are perfect for a festive occasion or a special weekend meal. Enjoy the richness of the pork, complemented by the unique flavors of the risotto and the sweetness of the fennel.

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