Tuscan Smoked Ribs

Damon Holter from Croix Valley Foods prepares a Tuscan Smoked Ribs recipe as Pork Week presented by the Minnesota Pork Board continues.  www.mnpork.com

Tuscan Smoked Ribs
More recipes online at www.CroixValleyFoods.com

Italian-rubbed ribs with Pesto Alfredo, Marinated Tomato Bruschetta, Balsamic Reduction, Italian Fried Onion Straws and Balsamic Reduction.

Pork ribs are the perfect vessel for imparting a wide array of flavors, and my recipe for Tuscan Smoked Ribs transforms the backyard barbecue into a fusion of flavors.  Topped with flavors from the Old County, your guests will be coming back for more when you serve them this gorgeous presentation that is unexpected in the American barbecue scene.


2-3 racks, St. Louis Style or Loin Back Ribs, membrane removed
Croix Valley Italian Barbecue Booster or Damon’s Italian Rub
Tomato Bruschetta
Balsamic Reduction
Pesto Alfredo
Italian-Fried Onion Straws

For Damon’s Italian Rub:

2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp Dried Basil
2 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 Tbsp Granulated Onion
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
2 Tsp Marjoram
2 Tsp Sea Salt
2 Tsp Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container for future use.

For the Tomato Bruschetta:

3 Medium Roma Tomatoes, diced
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
3 Basil large Basil Leaves, julienned
2 Tbsp Damon’s Italian Rub or Croix Valley Italian Barbecue Booster

Combine ingredients, cover and refrigerate for at least ½ hour to allow the flavors to combine.

For the Pesto Alfredo:

1 stick Butter
1 pkg. Cream Cheese
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup shredded Romano Cheese
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ cup White Wine
2 Tbsp Basil Pesto
Salt, Pepper & Garlic Powder to taste

In saucepan on the stovetop, over medium heat, combine wine, cream, butter and cream cheese, melt and whisk all together while stirring frequently until well combined.  Add cheeses, melt and continue to whisk frequently until the cheeses have combined well.  Add Pesto, spices, mix and serve.  Note:  If the sauce becomes too thick, simply thin it out with additional cream or milk and whisk until desired consistency is achieved.  Tip: Additional sauce lasts 3-4 days in the refrigerator and freezes well for future use.

For the Italian-Fried Onion Straws

1 large Sweet Yellow Onions
2 cups Buttermilk
2 cups flour
3 Tbsp. Croix Valley Italian Booster or Damon’s Italian Rub
Canola Oil for frying

Slice onions thinly and separate into loose rings/pieces.  Marinate in buttermilk for 20 minutes.  Dredge in flour combined with Italian Rub and fry in 350°F oil until crispy and golden.  Drain and reserve for topping the ribs.


  1. Rub ribs with Italian Rub generously on both sides and place on grill/smoker at 290°F for approximately 5 hours or until tender. Time and temperature of ribs will vary depending upon the type of equipment used.  The ribs can be cooked for a longer period of time at a lower temperature or a shorter period of time at a higher temp.  Ribs may also be cooked in an oven at 300-350°F until tender.
  2. Slice ribs and top with drizzle of Pesto Alfredo, Balsamic Reduction, Tomato Brushetta and Italian-Fried Onion Straws. Top with additional julienned Basil.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email