- 8 ounces fresh spinach, steamed and finely chopped
- ½ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 pound boneless pork loin, sliced into 8 pieces
- 8 thin slices pancetta
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
In a medium bowl, combine the spinach and ricotta and stir to blend. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Set aside.
Place a slice of pork between two pieces of parchment paper, and roll with a rolling pin until flattened to an even fitness, about an eighth of an inch. Repeat to flatten the remaining slices.
Spread a thin layer of the spinach mixture on top of a slice of pork, leaving a quarter inch border. Roll it and wrap with a slice of pancetta, then fasten with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining pork, filling, and pancetta.
In a large, heavy sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and sear the rolls for about two minutes on each side. Add the wine and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer briskly for 7 to 8 minutes, turning the rolls once or twice to heat them through. Serve at once.
For the pork chops
6 boneless pork chops (about 3 ounces each)
About 3 cups buttermilk, whole milk if you can find it
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups yellow cornmeal
Canola oil (or high heat safflower or sunflower, what I used) for shallow-frying
For the potatoes
3 pounds small-to-medium red potatoes
1 cup half-and-half (or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 cup heavy cream)
6 ounces soft goat cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, diced and chilled
1/2 cup finely sliced fresh chives
Freshly ground black or white pepper
Marinate the pork chops: Pound each pork chop (using a meat pounder or, in a pinch, I’ve also used a cast iron skillet, rather dramatically) between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/8-inch thick. Place the chops in a container and cover them with the buttermilk. Cover and marinate at least four hours or overnight or in the refrigerator.
Prep the smashed potatoes: Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and add 1/4 cup salt. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes for small potatoes or 30 minutes for medium ones; try not to let the water boil.
Cook the chops: Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Remove the chops from the buttermilk, discarding it and patting most of the buttermilk off the chops. Season the chops with salt and cracked pepper. Put the cornmeal in a shallow bowl and season it with salt and cayenne pepper. Dredge the chops in the cornmeal, gently shaking off the excess, and put on a large plate.
[Brock wants you to cook these in two large cast-iron skillets, using the oil in each only once, discarding it and putting new oil in for the next chop. I used one 12-inch skillet that fit two chops and reused the oil a couple times, but the downside of this is that it will pick up black bits that fall into the oil as it cooks.]
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot, add a 1/4-inch of oil to each and heat for 1 minute. Carefully place 2 pork chops in each skillet; do not shake the skillets or touch the chops for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook the chops until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the chops over and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes more. I found that my chops really wanted to stick on the second side, so slide a thin spatula underneath them to loosen them from the bottom of the pan before transfer the chops to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Discard the oil the skillet if it gets too murky and repeat with remaining chops.
Finish the potatoes: When the potatoes are almost cooked, bring the half-and-half to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, carefully smash each potato without breaking it apart. Pour the hot half-and-half over the potatoes; crumble the goat cheese, butter and chives over them then fold it together — I only did this once or twice, preferring to keep as many small pockets of goat cheese throughout as possible. Season with salt, if needed, and white or black pepper.
Serve: The potatoes and chops together. Repeat as soon as possible.
Serve with: Brock recommends that you serve these with a cucumber and pickled green tomato relish, which sounds like everything I want to eat right now, but I would have had to have had 3 1/2 pounds heirloom green tomatoes and gotten started on it two weeks ago (1 week for each pickling stage). I’ll be trying it out this summer. In a pinch, I wish I’d made these pickles instead.
For the pasta:
5 cups of flour
3 teaspoons of salt
2 eggs (I doubled the amount of eggs)
1-1/2 cups water, approximately (start slow and use judgment)
For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 or 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed, cooked, and all water squeezed out (I used fresh spinach, about 10 ounces, steamed, water squeezed out and then finely chopped)
1 pound veal, ground finely
1 pound pork, ground finely
salt and pepper
dash freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
2 teaspoons fresh marjoram, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon dry (optional)
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
In the future, sear the meatballs a lot. They won’t get overcooked. Don’t drain the diced tomatoes for the sauce. I ended up with ~30 meatballs. I doubled the sauce and it was a very appropriate amount…doubled amounts are noted below. I used 50/50 pork/beef and it was fine, veal probably isn’t necessary for this recipe.
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 1/4 cups fresh white bread crumbs (about 5 slices, crusts removed)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 extra-large egg, beaten
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
3 teaspoons minced garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup good red wine
1 (28-ounce) can pureed tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can chopped or diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan
Make the meatballs: Place the ground meats, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, onion powder, egg, and 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs. You will have something like 30 meatballs?
Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch. Don’t crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels. Discard the oil but don’t clean the pan.
Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.