Friday, May 25, 2007

Italian-inspired eating...

Last night, I had some pork chops all thawed in the fridge and ready to go. I didn't want to do my usual marinade-and-bake or shake-and-bake (yummy and not too bad for you if you are in a hurry or a bind). I had just been reading somewhere about all the different ways you could stuff chicken, and since I had pork on hand instead of chicke, I decided to stuff that instead!

I started out with the following ingredients:

I had the pork chops and garlic at home. I picked up, from my local food store, some basil paste (much better than the dried version, and I don't use fresh quickly enough), some fontina cheese, some grape tomatoes, some prosciutto, and some shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese.

I butterflied the pork chops, after trimming off some of the excess fat, and placed in the center of each a slice of fontina cheese and two slices of prosciutto. I then put them in the baking dish and sprinkled Italian-style bread crumbs over the top, alone with some of the parmigiano-reggiano.

I then halved the grape tomatoes and sauteed them in a little bit of olive oil (I got this idea here) with three cloves of garlic (two were pretty small, while one was a decent size...not three large cloves of garlic). After they were soft and releasing some juice, I added a couple of squirts of the basil paste (I had never used the herb pastes before, but I was really pleased with it!). I sauteed that a little longer while my penne (I used Barilla Plus) finished cooking to an al dente finish. Then, I mixed those together and heated them through.

Here's the final result:

I sprinkled more cheese on top of the pasta, and it was a fantastic meal! I will definitely make this or some form of it again...enjoy!

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