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Pork Tenderloin Piccata on Roasted Red Pepper-Tomato Sauce with Pasta

Recipe: Pork Tenderloin Piccata on Roasted Red Pepper-Tomato Sauce with Pasta

Remarks:

    This recipe is another "happy accident." My husband called me one night on his way home from a meeting. He was supposed to have dinner with the client and decided he wanted to come home to a Zola meal instead. Well, we had no food in the Madison home. We had not been there in weeks so I had no plans for making a dinner and had not been to the grocery store. I had no time to go there either, because I had agreed to meet with a couple of women (to help plan some parties) right up until the minute he was to arrive. So what was I going to do in the ten minutes I had?

    Open the freezer, of course. Out popped a pork tenderloin. Open the cupboard. One can of diced tomatoes. Not enough to make a sauce. Head for the refrigerator. Hmmm . . . . Voila! A jar of roasted red peppers! The makings of a sauce appear before my eyes. This and the makings of a small salad left from a dinner party the night before and I was in business--another offering of "dinner from the cupboard."

Servings:
Serves 2. Can be doubled to serve 4 or multiplied for more.

Ingredients:

    For the Sauce
    2 Tbl olive oil
    2 Tbl garlic, diced
    15-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
    2 cups roasted red peppers, rinsed
    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

    For the Pork
    1 pork tenderloin (fresh or thawed, approximately 1 pound)
    1-1/2 cups bread crumbs (Italian) or add Italian herbs to plain bread crumbs
    3/4 to 1 cup of egg substitute or 2 eggs, beaten
    2 Tbl olive oil
    Butter (if you want)

    2 portions of pasta
    (This can be just about any kind--angel hair, spaghetti, linguini, or even penne, etc.)

Instructions:

    In a sauce pan, put in your olive oil and your garlic. Heat on Medium High just to get the garlic bubbling and fragrant. Do not brown it.

    Whiz the tomatoes and peppers in your food processor or blender until fairly smooth. Add those and the pepper flakes to the sauce pan. Cook the sauce on Medium heat about 10 to 12 minutes to reduce it and meld the flavors. You're really just heating it well.

    Put on a large pot of water to make your pasta. You need to get the water boiling.

    Slice the pork tenderloin into one-half inch slices. You should have about 4 slices per person from one tenderloin and then the ends. Use sandwich bags to protect the meat. Place each slice inside a bag. Gently pound each slice with a meat mallet to flatten to half thickness or maybe even one-third inch thick. Be careful. You don't want to go so far as to put holes in your pork tenderloin, and tenderloin is fairly susceptible to damage. Go easy on it.

    When your tenderloin slices are flattened, dip each of them in the egg on both sides and then dip each of the slices in the bread crumbs.

    Heat your oil in the sauté pan. (Add the butter if you want it even richer; maybe a tablespoon.) Then put the slices in on Medium High. Brown one side on Medium High and then turn them over and cook the other side on medium low. When you turn the pork, use a flat spatula to keep the breading from falling off. Peek to see they are browned. This will all take only 5 to 7 minutes. Pork cooks pretty fast. Your tenderloins can be slightly pink in the middle if you like it that way, or you can turn off the heat and let them continue to cook until no pink remains.

    While the meat is cooking you can cook your pasta. The pasta will take the longest to cook, depending on which noodle you choose and whether your pasta is fresh or dried.

Serving Suggestions:

    To serve this dish you have a few options: If you are trying to do a lower carb thing, you can skip the pasta and just have the pork and sauce with a larger salad. Otherwise, put the pasta on the plate first, ladle on your sauce and then top with the pork. This way your breading will stay sort of crunchy.

Enjoy!

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