This one pot recipe takes 45 minutes to prepare. It starts with sautéing garlic and tomato paste in a large Dutch oven or skillet (I used my LeCreuset braiser). Sausage is added following the tomato paste turning a rusty red. Using a wood spoon or wooden spoonula, break up the sausage so it can brown and crisp up. After approximately 10 minutes, the tomatoes are added along with salt and pepper. Following what Lidia Bastianich sometimes does, I added a pinch of red pepper flakes to my sauce. If using whole tomatoes, make sure to break them up. The sauce cooks for 10-15 minutes. As I was using gnocchi, I added them just before the sauce was done as they need four minutes to cook. Before serving I tasted the sauce to adjust seasonings and topped with grated Parmesan cheese.
What a scrumptious supper! I had some Benchmark Sour Dough bread that I served alongside to sop up the flavorsome sauce. The addition of red pepper flakes added the tiniest bit of heat, enhancing the taste. Using gnocchi instead of tortellini wasn’t a mistake after all.
Another recipe I made was from Lidia Bastianich’s website “Lidia’s Italy” for Veal Chops with Spinach and Pecorino Romano. I swapped out the veal chops for two thick, beautiful pork chops from Whole Foods. For the recipe you’ll also need salt, freshly ground black pepper, olive oil, fresh garlic cloves, fresh spinach, freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, a pint of red or yellow cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
I grilled the pork chops outside just shy of an internal temperature of 145°. While they were grilling, I prepared the spinach. I used frozen spinach that I had on hand. Per the recipe, I sautéed with the olive oil and garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper. In another pan, the tomatoes are sautéed with garlic, olive oil then seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh basil leaves.
To finish the pork chops, they’re placed on a baking sheet, topped with spinach and grated Pecorino Romano cheese. They go under the broiler until the cheese melts and is lightly browned.
What a delightful meal! The pork chops were succulent and the topping was a lovely enhancement. My husband and I loved this preparation. This meal took approximately 45 minutes to prepare and makes for an easy and tasty weeknight meal.
One-Pot Tortellini with Meat Sauce
By Ali Slagle
The New York Times, “What to Make Next Week”
April 22, 2023
Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 (28-ounce) can whole or crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
About 1 pound fresh or frozen tortellini (no need to thaw)
Finely grated Parmesan, for serving
½ cup/4 ounces grated mozzarella (optional)
VEAL CHOPS WITH SPINACH AND PECORINO ROMANO
Costoletta di Vitello agli Spinaci e Pecorino
By Lidia Bastianich
“Notes -If the contorno of lightly sautéed cherry tomatoes seems like too much trouble to do at the last minute, or if you find yourself without beautiful cherry tomatoes, these spinach-topped veal chops still make a lovely dish. Serve the chops with mashed potatoes.”
6 loin veal chops, each 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick and about 12 ounces*
Freshly ground black pepper
7 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 pound spinach leaves (from about 1-1/2-pound spinach with stems), tough stems removed, thoroughly washed and drained
1 pint red or yellow cherry tomatoes, stemmed and cut in half
4 fresh basil leaves, cut into think strips.
Prepare a charcoal grill or heat two large grill pans or cast-iron pans over medium heat 10 minutes.
Pat the veal chops dry with paper towels and season them generously with salt and pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the chops. Grill the veal chops, turning once, until both sides are well-marked and just a slight trace of pink remains in the thickest part of the chop near the bone, 15 to 18 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill and the thickness of the chop. Transfer the chops to a broiler pan sturdy baking pan. Preheat the broiler.
Divide 3 tablespoons olive oil between two large, heavy skillets. Add one garlic clove to each skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add half the spinach to each skillet and season very lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Alternatively, the spinach may be prepared in one skillet in two batches.) Drain the liquid from the spinach pans and remove the garlic cloves. Divide the spinach evenly over the veal chops. Sprinkle the spinach with the grated cheese.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing the tomatoes in the skillet, just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove the garlic cloves. Cover the skillet and remove it from the heat to keep the tomatoes warm.
Broil the chops until the cheese is lightly browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. (If a broiler is not available, set the baking pan in a 475 F oven about 5 minutes.) Transfer the veal chops to plates. Spoon the tomatoes alongside the veal chops and serve hot.
*Donna’s Notes – I substituted pork chops and they worked out well
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.