Recipe Corner: Italian Pork Loin with Pasta and Vegetables


By Christine  Vartanian Datian


1 1/2 lb. boneless pork loin, cut into medium pieces

1 large white onion, roughly sliced or diced

1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and diced

2 stalks celery and top greens, diced

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup low-sodium chicken or beef broth

1/4 cup black or Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans Italian-style crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, thyme and marjoram, crumbled

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and zest of one lemon

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

Dash of nutmeg

Olive oil, unsalted butter

Fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley, about 1/3 cup

1 cup dry white wine


1 lb. packed or fresh rigatoni, penne or angel hair pasta (or pasta of choice), cooked and drained

Fresh grated Pecorino, Romano or Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil, crushed red pepper flakes, toasted bread crumbs and pine nuts



  1. Lightly salt and pepper the pork pieces.  In a large pot, brown the pork in olive oil with the garlic; remove pork and the garlic from pot and set aside.  Add the onions, peppers, carrots, celery, and peas to the pot with remaining olive oil and butter, toss, and cook until the onions are caramelized.
  2. Add the pork and garlic back to the pot with the cooked vegetables; add the remaining ingredients (except the parsley and wine) and stir; bring the sauce to a full boil, cover, and cook on medium-low heat for about 1 hour, stirring to ensure the sauce does not stick or burn.  Add the parsley and wine about 15 minutes before serving, and adjust seasonings; continue to cook uncovered for the remaining time.  Remove the bay leaf.
  3. Boil the pasta to taste and drain.  Serve pasta in bowls and top with the sauce and choice of cheese, basil, red pepper flakes and toasted bread crumbs and pine nuts, if desired.

Note:  This recipe may be made in a large crock pot for all-day cooking.  Repeat steps 1 and 2, brown the pork with the garlic in olive oil, drain and set aside.  Add the vegetables and cook until onions are caramelized; add remaining ingredients (except the parsley and wine) to the crock pot and cook on low heat for 6 hours; stir occasionally until pork and vegetables are tender; add the parsley and wine 30 minutes before serving and adjust seasonings.

Serves 6-8.


*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and
Cooking Light Magazines, and at

*For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking
Light Magazines, go to:   <>


Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: