July 1, 2016

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Get out the forks for one-pot meal of pasta and pork

Common Sense Kitchen

Welcome to the Common Sense Kitchen. It’s time to reach for your coffee mug, pencil and notepad. It’s that time of year again when we want to cozy up in the kitchen to eat some comforting and warm foods. So today we are cooking up a quick, easy and inexpensive One Pot Pasta and Pork. Get those forks out!

One skillet, please
Today’s recipe is all about delicious with a side of quick and easy. And inexpensive, too. So gather the ingredients on the countertop, toss ’em in the pot and onto your plate in about 30 minutes. The “quick” for this dish is to choose ingredients, meat, veggies and pasta, which cook up quickly and can be prepared in the same skillet. Remember, you can switch out the pork for chicken or beef.

Vegetarians can omit the meat. Pick your favorite in-season vegetables or those you have on hand.

As for the pasta, we’re using the twists, but any shape will do. You can also can make the dish with a hearty wild rice blend (fabulous) or different grains like wheat berries or quinoa. Try legumes or lentils, too.

One Pot Pasta and Pork
(Serves 2)
1 cup rice vegetable pasta twists (or traditional wheat pasta)
6 to 8 ounces lean pork, cubed
½ cup yellow onion, sliced
½ cup fresh broccoli pieces
½ cup cherry tomatoes
½ cup fresh corn
Optional seasonings:
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
1-2 teaspoons fruity (extra virgin) olive oil
Squeeze of fresh lemon
½ teaspoon rosemary

Gather and prepare ingredients. Heat water (per package instructions) for pasta. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium high. Add 1 teaspoon butter to pan (or use 1 teaspoon olive oil or non-stick vegetable spray). Add pork pieces. Cook for 3 minutes per side. Add onions; cook five more minutes as onions soften and pork gets brown.
Remove pork and onions from skillet; set aside. Add pasta to boiling water. As pasta cooks, place broccoli, tomatoes and corn to same skillet (add a tablespoon of water or more butter if pan is too dry).

Cover skillet with lid to heat veggies through and allow tomato skins to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes, but keeping corn and broccoli crunchy. Add pork and onions back into skillet. Toss and heat for a couple minutes. Drain pasta and add to skillet.

Optional: Season with sea salt and fresh pepper. Drizzle with a fruity olive oil with a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle with finely chopped rosemary. Toss and serve. Enjoy!

Nutrition information: Calories 334, Total fat 10 g, Cholesterol 76 mg, Sodium 62 mg

Barnett is a nutritionist and freelance writer from Westfield Center.