For some reason everyone was tired and a little cranky last night. We had a busy weekend and it may have caught up with us. I wanted to cook something straightforward, something that would zap us back into a happier place, and, for some reason I though a lemon might do the trick? I have been experimenting more and more with them and have found that they can liven up a sauce to no end.
This was an excellent use of a lemon and it gave the pork tenderloin even more tenderness! Using big mushrooms was also a nice touch. They looked great in the dish and felt a little like I was eating a piece of meat. This Campanelle pasta was new to me. I usually stick to penne or some sort of spaghetti type, but this one caught my eye because it had a ribbony edge and was curled. I knew it would capture lots of lovely sauce – yum!
Dinner softened moods and lulled everyone into the evening in the best possible way. I got my therapy from cooking and everyone else got it from eating. Making dinner together is the best mood enhancer. It was hard to be grumpy in a kitchen that smelled of lemony creaminess!
You will need: 2 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb each), sliced into 3/4″ -1″ pieces, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbs unsalted butter, 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 5 or 6 large white mushrooms, sliced, 1/2 cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup white wine, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 2 tbs heavy cream, 6 cups fresh spinach leaves, coarse sea-salt & freshly ground black pepper. 1 lb campanelle pasta ( bowties or a ridged penne would work too).
Preheat oven 400*
1 – Put big saute pan on high heat and add the oil and 1 tbs of the butter. Season sliced meat with salt and pepper. When fats begins to sizzle sear pork on each side until browned (2 minutes per side approx.). Remove to plate and set aside. Turn heat down to low/medium.
2 – Add mushrooms and garlic and saute for about 7 minutes. Add the wine and broth, and bring to a steady simmer. Add lemon juice and parsley and stir. Turn off pan. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste.
3 – Add pork, cover and place in oven for 35 minutes. Take out and add spinach. Cover for 5 minutes to let the spinach wilt. . Remove the lid, stir in last tbs of butter. Toss in the pasta and add a little pasta water if you like a thinner sauce.
While pan is in oven put on water for pasta and cook campanelle according to instructions. Before draining scoop out some of the pasta water in case you need to thin your sauce later.
Divide between warmed bowls or carry ceremoniously to the table in one big bowl.