Ziti with Pork and Escarole in Creamy Thyme Sauce

Quick-cooking pork tenderloin stars here with a strong back-up from just-wilted ribbons of escarole, and a touch of mustard to complement both.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 pound escarole, leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 4 cups)
  • 1 shallot or 2 scallions including green tops, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons grainy or Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound ziti

Preparation

  1. 1. Cut the pork into 1/2-inch slices and flatten them with the heel of your hand. Sprinkle the pork with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Cook the pork, in two batches if necessary, until just barely done, about 1 minute per side. Remove the pork from the pan, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then cut into thin strips.
  2. 2. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the escarole, shallot, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring until the escarole wilts, about 1 minute. Add the broth and the thyme and simmer until the broth is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, cream, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring just to a simmer. Add the pork and any accumulated juices to the sauce, and remove from the heat.
  3. 3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ziti until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce.
  4. Wine Recommendation: A dry riesling from the Alsace region in France makes a perfect partner for pork and stands up well to the mustard here.
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