Friday, March 5, 2010

Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola

I'm usually not a big fan of a piece of pork (or chicken) all by itself. But smother it in spicy tomato sauce, flavorful herbs and fresh vegetables and I'm a HUGE fan! Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola is one of my favorite pork recipes because the pork is absolutely soaking in this flavorful, sweet and spicy sauce. The vegetables add crunchy sweetness, the capers add a salty bite, and the banana peppers add a pop of bright vinegar. The pork is tender and really soaks up this delicious sauce, loading it with excellent flavor. And you wouldn't believe how healthy this meal is! There is not one thing in this recipe that would be considered unhealthy. So the next time that you want to eat right but still enjoy a large portion loaded with flavor, whip up some Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola!

Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola
Tender pork in a hearty tomato sauce loaded with veggies and flavor!
Serves 2

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (1-inch thick) pork chops (I used boneless but bone-in would be great!)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 T. capers
3 T. banana peppers, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 teaspoon your favorite dried herbs, such as oregano, thyme and fennel
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until they are brown but not totally cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm.

Add the onion and green pepper to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, dried herbs, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend and the juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and more red pepper flakes. Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices from the plate to the skillet and turn the pork chops to coat with the sauce. Add the capers and banana peppers. Simmer 5 minutes until pork is cooked through.

Place 1 pork chop on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve. Roasted broccoli, mashed potatoes and cornbread make delicious sides! 

Recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentis

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