Monday, 1 December 2014

Sweet & Sour Power!

Tortiglione al Sugo di Maiale, Zenzero, Pomodoro & Origano in Agrodolce
Tortiglione with a Sweet & Sour Pork, Ginger, Tomato & Oregano Sauce


The more that people around me obsess on exclusive, expensive, pretentious ingredients and foods- the more delighted I am to make my simple dishes- don't judge me for it!

This simple plate of pasta was made using one little slice of pork and the most basic of vegetables... it was made in 15 minutes and it was every bit as delicious as it looks. Frankly- that means that, yes, in all modesty... it was absolutely fabulous!


The great thing about Italian cookery is that it is so simple, so varied and so versatile. Once you know a few basics and traditional methods, you can create any number of variations of your own and enjoy meals as varied as the many regions of Bella Italia. After all- every Italian cook is proud of his or her own version of any dish you care to mention... so make yous your own too! Just like I did!


I improvised this sauce out of a small slice of pork, an onion, 9-10 cherry tomatoes, 1 small carrot, 1/2 a stalk of celery, 1 tablespoon of oregano, a little fresh basil, a bay leaf, a little fresh ginger, a little sugar and the juice of half a lemon.


This is a different kind of sweet and sour pork for you- not Chinese, but Italian! How's that for a change? And despite what you may be thinking- this is a much "lighter" dish than you might expect... read on...


You have to admit- that looks pretty juicy and delicious now, doesn't it?


You will need to so some chopping and slicing of course- so whilst the water is coming up to the boil to cook your pasta in, finely chop 1/2 of an onion, the carrot, celery and ginger, cut the cherry tomatoes in quarters and finely slice the pork, across the grain.


Stir-fry everything but the tomatoes together, with no added fat, until the onion becomes translucent and the pork turns from pink to white. Season well with salt and pepper- and at this point, pop your pasta into the water to begin cooking.


Next, add the cherry tomatoes, the oregano, the bay leaf and the juice of half a lemon and keep stirring.


Once the tomatoes have begun to render-down, add a teaspoon of sugar and stir to get everything lightly coated and beginning to caramelize.


After it has been cooking for 5 minutes, add the pasta, along with enough of the water to cover the bottom of the pan.

Keep gently stirring or tossing the pasta, carefully, so as not to let it break and let it cook together with the water and the ingredients in the frying pan. After 3-4 minutes, the tomatoes will almost dissolve away and combine with the water in the frying pan and all of the aromatics, to become a delicious sauce.

Tangy from the lemon and oregano, fruity from the tomatoes, sweet from the sugar and onion- and flavorful from the pork- what a great dish! Make it better still by adding freshly ground pepper and a little fresh basil at the end and you have one incredible plate of pasta, ready to serve!


Already a new favorite of mine- see how you can make something like this for yourselves and just see if it doesn't become one of your favorites too! And remember- there was no added oil, butter or cheese involved in this- so it is a pretty healthy dish too! One more reason to love- and enjoy!

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