Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gemelli with Ground Pork & Green Beans

In all my years of cooking, I never thought before to combine ground pork, green beans and pasta.  And then, all of a sudden, while sitting in my office yesterday contemplating the bag of green beans in the fridge that had to be used immediately before they spoiled and wondering what I could cook for dinner that would be new and exciting (or at the very least not ordinary and blah), this recipe came to me.  Juicy morsels of ground pork and fresh green beans with lots of garlic and fresh herbs over short pasta.  This combination was quite tasty- meaty and herby in a very comforting but not too heavy way that is perfect for a summer dinner.

If you don't like pork then substitute ground turkey instead.  Any kind of short pasta will do so don't feel like you must use gemelli if you have a different shape on hand.  Ziti, penne or rotini would be just as good.

printer friendly recipe

one pound gemelli
one pound ground pork
1/2 pound of green beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram, or one teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh savory, or one teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or one teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup white wine
1 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-2 tablespoons prepared bread crumbs, plain or Italian style

Cook the gemelli in lots of boiling salted water according to the package directions.  Start preparing the sauce as soon you put the pot of water on to boil before you add the pasta.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large heavy bottomed saute pan with high sides.  Add the ground pork and saute until browned and most of the pink color has disappeared, about 6-7 minutes.

Add the shallots, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for a few more minutes until the shallots soften and become translucent.

Add the tomato, marjoram, savory, thyme, orange peel and Dijon mustard.  Stir thoroughly.

Pour over the white wine and allow the wine to cook out for three or four minutes.

Spread the green beans on top of the pork.  Add the chicken broth and tomato paste.  Stir to combine.

Cover, bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes and then lower heat to low.  Cook for 7 or so minutes, or until the green beans are tender but not mushy.

Uncover and stir in the breadcrumbs to thicken the sauce.  Cook for a couple more minutes.

Cover the pan and remove from the heat until the pasta is ready.

When the pasta is cooked, drain thoroughly.  Mix together with the pork and green beans.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4 generously.


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