Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The 21st Century Housewife's© Pork Tenderloin on Balsamic Roast Vegetable Pasta

Although it can be very rewarding to make your own pesto, there are some very good ready-made ones out there. I recently discovered the “Dress Italian” brand at Waitrose. They make a Red Pepper and Walnut pesto that is absolutely delicious. It is not a combination I would have thought of at all, but I’m very glad they did. If you cannot get hold of it, then by all means just use red pesto as it would work equally well, as would any green pesto, although of course there will be a difference in the flavour. Or try another brand of red pepper or walnut based pesto.

I almost always keep roast vegetables in the fridge. They are so easy to make. Simply cut up a red onion, two or three multi-coloured peppers and a courgette (zucchini). Toss them in about two tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and roast in a hot oven for about thirty to forty minutes - stirring occasionally - until the vegetables are softened and golden, but not charred. You can read my previous entries about roast vegetables by clicking here. These can be used immediately or cooled and stored in the refrigerator for three or four days.

To serve four with this recipe you need:-

1 pork tenderloin
2 cups roasted vegetables
250 grams pasta, preferably whole wheat (I use fusilli or penne)
1 jar Dress Italian Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto,
or other pesto of your choice
2 tablespoons low fat crème fraîche or sour cream
(or full fat if you prefer)

You can serve four people with one pork tenderloin but I usually cook more than one at a time as the leftovers make delicious sandwiches and salads. To cook tenderloin, just place it/them in a roasting pan and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 180℃ or 375℉ for about 40 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted in the centre of the tenderloin reads at least 160℃ or 320℉. I like to turn the tenderloin halfway through cooking, but this is not essential.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to the boil and season with salt. About fifteen minutes before the end of the cooking time, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pan. Add the roasted vegetables, pesto and crème fraîche. Stir to coat the pasta and heat very gently over low heat to warm the vegetables and heat the sauce through. At this point the tenderloin will most likely be cooked, so remove it from the oven, cover and allow to rest while the pasta heats through.

Slice the tenderloin. Serve the pasta in warmed bowls, topped with three of four slices of tenderloin.