Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops over Sauteed Spinach Pasta

Sun dried tomatoes are not a new ingredient for me. I love using them to brighten dishes and salads. I have recently started buying them without the oil. I can definitely tell the difference in color, texture and freshness. I remove them from the package and reconstitute them in olive oil, I prefer the Spanish Olive Oil from Krogers. Then store them in an air tight jar in the pantry. They will then last for up to six months, if you don't use them before then. 
I love to experiment with different ingredients for the thick cut pork chops. We have tried anything from sweet (apples and raisins) to savory (spinach and mozzarella). This dish is, hands down, my favorite. I paired it with sauteed onions, pine nuts, sun dried tomato and spinach pasta. I hope you will enjoy this as much as we did. 

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

2 cups fresh basil
2 cups fresh parsley
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Oil from the sun dried tomatoes



-->Puree all ingredients in a food processor except the oil. 
-->While machine is running, slowly drizzle the oil from the sun dried tomatoes to create constancy desired. 

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Stuffed Pork Chops over Sauteed Spinach Pasta

3 Thick Cut Pork Chop, you can use bone-in or boneless
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Gluten Free Pasta, cooked per package
1 Container Baby Spinach
1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
1/2 cup Yellow Onions, sliced
2 Slices Bacon, diced
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/2 Parmesan Cheese



-->Preheat oven to 375*, line baking pan with parchment paper. 
-->Slice a pocket into each pork chop and stuff with sun dried tomato pesto. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice (reserve half the lemon for the pasta.) Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 145*F.
-->While the pork chops are baking, render the bacon in a large skillet over med-hi heat. Remove bacon from pan.
-->Saute onions, pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes until onions soft. Add cooked pasta, spinach, and lemon juice to pan. Mix together with salt and pepper until spinach starts to wilt. Remove from heat and add cheese. 
-->Remove pork chops from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. 
-->Enjoy with a glass of white wine. Happy Eating!

Pan Fried Chickpeas & Zucchini over GF Pasta with Classic Pesto

Pan Fried Chickpeas & Zucchini over GF Pasta with Classic Pesto

1 lb Ground Turkey Meat
1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Zucchini, sliced thick in 1/2 moons
1 small Onion, sliced
1/4 Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil
1 Package of Gluten Free Pasta, your choice, cooked according to package
Classic Pesto
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup Vegetable broth

->In a large skillet, on med-hi, heat 2 Tbsp Olive Oil and "fry" up chickpeas until toasty. (They will start to pop off the pan, kinda like popcorn, when they are done.) Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside. 
->Add 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil to pan, brown meat and saute onions. When meat is half way cooked, add zucchini and sun dried tomatoes. 
->When meat is browned, add chickpeas, vegetable broth. Let simmer for 5 minutes. 
->Add pesto to pasta, stirring until pasta is well coated. Move pasta to large serving bowl and top with meat mixture. 
->Serve with your favorite dry wine and gluten free bread.