This is one of my favorite week night treats. Pork makes a lighter summer alternative to the heavier taste of beef. You could also make a vegetarian version by substituting the pork with lentils ~ very French, or meat substitute. You will see that I'm using a jarred Italian Sausage Sauce, but the flavoring of Herbes de Provence and the use of a Rosé wine give it a Provençal twist. Using a jarred sauce is what makes this dish so forgiving: you're adding other flavors, but since the base had a head start, if you don't have the time, you don't have to simmer the sauce all day.
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 jar of Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce
- 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 3 oz Rosé wine
- 1/2 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
- 1 spring rosemary
- 3 springs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Once pork is half cooked, add the garlic and vegetable mixture, stirring well.Next add the Herbes de Provence, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook over medium heat until pork is cooked and vegetables have started to soften. Next add in the Sausage flavored sauce. I'm not loyal to any one brand, most likely choosing whatever is on sale, or better yet ~ buy one get one free!
Then add the can of tomato paste and wine. For this recipe, you'll need to use a proper dry Rosé, not White Zinfandel or the like which are way too sweet.Stir meat, vegetables, and sauce to mix well. Once mixed, cover and simmer. It really doesn't take long to make. If you're pressed for time, follow the instructions above for the sauce. Once the sauce is mixed, start to prepare your pasta. While the water is heating up and then the pasta is cooking, simmer the sauce on medium heat. Once your pasta is cooked, the sauce will be ready to eat. If you have a little longer, turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer. While it simmers away, you can read a chapter or two of your book, look through a new magazine, call your mother, or do the laundry. Once you have relaxed or caught up on your chores, boil some pasta and you have a sauce that has slowly simmered, letting the flavors develop a little more.Taste before serving. I almost always have to add some more sea salt at this point. Season with freshly ground pepper.
Makes 4 generous servings.