Yes, I know it’s Tuesday. Today’s post is about Monday. Forgive my inability to post food the day I make it.
There was a lot going in my head yesterday, as evidenced by the indecisive concoction that became dinner. In the fridge, pomegranate seeds eagerly awaited use, mixed lettuce begged that I not forget about it (like I did last time), and Brussels sprouts – the favorite since this blog’s first post – glared at me for having to wait so long to be useful. None of this helped, particularly as I was craving pasta. What’s a girl to do?
Make a pork, pomegranate, and Parmesan salad. Roast Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt. Whip up pasta with ricotta, bell pepper, and almonds. And I did just that. A hodgepodge, but a tasty hodgepodge. One that also exemplifies some of the easier weeknight meals I have tucked in my arsenal.
Let’s start with the salad, then we’ll skip over the Brussels sprouts (because I’ve extolled their tasty virtues to high heaven already), and move on to the pasta. Mmm…pasta. Also, be forewarned that salads are not my forte…
Pomegranate and Pork Salad (with some Parmesan thrown in for added alliteration)
1/2 bag leafy lettuce
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 thin cut, boneless pork chops
Shaved Parmesan to taste
Salt and pepper the pork chops on both sides, then cook on both sides until cooked. While the pork is cooking, mix together lettuce, pomegranate seeds, and Parmesan. Dress salad with a fruity vinaigrette. In this instance, I used a raspberry vinaigrette I had in the refrigerator (remember, this is weeknight cooking, so keep it simple!). I prefer my salad sparsely coated with dressing, but the amount is entirely dependent on the desire of the consumer. Remove pork from heat, cut into bite sized pieces and toss with salad. This can also be eaten cold as a lovely afternoon snack.
1/2 lbs piccolini fusili pasta
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
3 tablespoons low-fat ricotta cheese
2 decen t palmfulls of sliced almonds
Salt and pepper
Bring water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 to 7 minutes. Retain 1 cup pasta water before draining the pasta. Leave the pasta out of the pot, but return the pot to the stove. Saute red bell pepper about 4 minutes. Add pasta, ricotta, and pasta water, mixing until well combined and the ricotta sauce coats the pasta. I would recommend adding the ingredients in this order: ricotta, pasta, pasta water. The heat from the pasta will help soften the ricotta and the pasta water will assist. Once well combined, stir in the almonds, salt, and pepper. Serve warm. *If you’d like a creamier sauce, a splash of non fat half and half or low fat milk can be added. This dish also tastes great as a cold lunch or reheated at the office the next day.