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Penne with Pork & Peppers

The easiest way to cut meat, such as pork tenderloin, very thinly is to partially freeze the meat by placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing. The knife will glide through the meat with much less resistance, allowing you to slice it almost paper thin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, thinly sliced against
      the grain, then cut into thin strips
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 large red and yellow bell peppers, stemmed,
      seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp. ground fennel seed
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 lb. penne, farfalle or other medium-sized
      pasta

Directions:

Make the sauce
Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a deep fry pan over medium-low heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion, bell peppers and garlic and sauté until the onion is lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until nicely browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the wine and cook until most of the alcohol has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the marjoram, fennel seed and broth. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Pasta, by Julia della Croce (Oxmoor House, 2006).