Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pasta with Broccolini and Sausage

I came across a similar recipe on Pinterest, but it was very poorly written and the instructions were awful. So since I had to wing it so much and I tweaked to my own tastes, I didn't feel bad reblogging it as my own.

Broccolini is a wonderful thing. My dear husband hates broccoli. Despises it. So I have avoided broccolini as well, assuming it would be the same deal. Well, one day I decided to give it a try, and alas, he liked it! The broccoli flavor is there, but subdued. It almost has an asparagus taste. A great green and now a favorite.

This pasta dish is delicious. I really recommend using the orecchiette pasta if possible, but any short pasta will work. I finally found a package of orecchiette at Trader Joes, so that is what I used. I love it because the sausage and cheese really gets inside the divots and makes for a delicious bite.

If you use the orecchiette, a couple tips. Its a starchier pasta, which is great for using the pasta water to help create a creamy sauce. But along with that perk, comes an annoyance of REALLY wanting to stick together. So, make sure you use a LARGE pot with a LOT of salty water. Make sure its at a RAPID boil, and make sure to stir VIGOROUSLY for 1 minute after you add the pasta. I don't mean to yell at you, but pasta that gets stuck inside itself and doesn't fully cook as a result makes me gag.

Pasta with Broccolini and Sausage 


3 tbsp olive oil
2 bunches broccolini, 1 inch trimmed off the ends and larger pieces sliced in half the long way.
1 lb sweet italian sausage (casings removed if applicable)
1 package short pasta, preferably orecchiette
6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced.
6 sun dried tomatoes, patted dry (if in oil) and sliced thin
salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh basil (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Bring one large pot full of water to a boil. Add a good amount of salt (like salty ocean water, is how it should be)

Add the broccolini and boil for 2-3 minutes, Use tongs to remove them and plunge in ice water for 2-3 minutes.

Return water to a rapid boil and cook pasta as directed on package. RESERVE 3/4 cup pasta water (put the measuring cup in the strainer to remind yourself)

Meanwhile, add 3 tbsp olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Add and crumble the sausage. Cook until browned, stirring often. Use a slotted spoon to remove sausage. Turn to low

Add sliced garlic to pan with juices. (can add another tbsp olive oil if needed). Cook until golden brown. Take care not to burn. Add broccolini, sausage, sun dried tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Once heated through, add pasta and pasta water. Toss well and check seasonings.

 Serve with shredded parm

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bacon, Kale, and Pepperjack Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Tenderloin was on sale this week here at our store. Normally those packages come with 2 tenderloins and 1 is usually plenty to feed my family of 4, with a bit of leftovers even. So I froze one and decided to butterfly and stuff one. I had some kale and pepperjack in my fridge I needed to use up and I decided that bacon would compliment those flavors nicely.

Stuffing the pork loin sounds more complicated than it is. Don't be discouraged. Just set aside 30 minutes to prep earlier in the day (or the night before) and you can throw this into the oven later that night.

If you don't have food twine, you can use toothpicks. Just soak in hot water for 20 minutes (while you prep)

Bacon, Kale, and Pepperjack Stuffed Pork Tenderloin


1 pork tenderloin (I bought a 2.5 pound package and there were 2. You can freeze one or double the other ingredients)
4-5 slices bacon
2ish cups kale, curly or straight, stems removed and chopped. (I had the bagged, chopped, washed kale from the store by the lettuces)
1 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar (or even lemon juice)
3-4 oz pepperjack cheese, cubed, sliced, or shredded (I got cubes from Target.)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp parsley
3/4 tsp salt
black pepper

Butterfly the pork tenderloin. Here are some visuals.

Preheat the oven to 350

Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch strips and cook in a medium pan on medium heat. Cook until crisp, 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Use a slotted spoon and remove bacon.

Add kale to the pan with bacon juice. Stir 2-3 minutes, until wilted. Lightly salt and pepper and splash with vinegar or lemon juice. Let cool a bit.

Put a line of cheese down the middle of the pork. Distribute the bacon evenly, and top with the kale.

Slide pieces of twine under the pork loin at 2-3 nice intervals. Fold the pork over so it overlaps slightly and tie tight with the twine. Repeat for all. Roll pork over so seam is on the bottom.

Mix garlic, onion, parsley, salt, and pepper together and sprinkle over the pork.

Cook for 40-50 minutes, until 145 internal temperature. Let rest 5 minutes before removing twine at cutting.