Peppered Pork Marsala
I had bought a pound of mushrooms at a fantastic price, stuck them in the fridge, and then had a few days spell of not cooking (hey, it happens). Now I had the mushrooms sitting on the counter, contemplating what to do with these before they perished. I have been craving pasta of late, so I decided to do a marsala dish, but changed it up a bit by using a peppered pork tenderloin thrown on the grill, instead of the usual chicken. This was a tasty adaptation, and one certainly worth repeating.
Peppered Pork Marsala
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 lb. (see note)
1 14-16 oz. pkg. spaghetti (I used whole grain)
1 lb. mushrooms, wiped, trimmed, and sliced
1 medium onion, diced (I used a vidalia)
4 tbs. butter, divided
coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup Marsala
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbs, cornstarch
Grill the pork until barely cooked through , or to desired doneness (it is safe to eat today's pork with a tinge of pink in the middle). Alternatively, brown it on all sides in a heavy skillet (like cast iron) before finishing it in a 35o degree F oven for 20 minutes. However you cook it, be sure to let it rest 5-10 minutes before slicing it very thinly. Cook the pasta al dente. rinse, and set aside to keep warm.
For the sauce: Saute the onions over medium heat in 2 tablespoons butter until tender and just turning golden, 10-12 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until they have released their liquid and become quite dry (think concentrated flavor :). Season fairly generously with the salt and pepper, add the wine and stock. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes, more to cook off some of the alcohol and blend flavors than to reduce. Measure the cornstarch into a small cup or bowl and mix with a few tablespoons of stock or water to make a slurry. Reduce the heat to med-low and stir in the slurry; cook for a minute or two to thicken. Taste to adjust seasoning and turn off the heat before stirring in the last 2 tablespoons butter. Serve immediately.
To serve: Portion the cooked spaghetti onto plates and spoon over the sauce. Fan some of the thinly sliced pork over the top and a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley. By slicing the pork thin I was able to get 5 servings from a scant pound of pork with no complaints. Serve with a green salad.