My Grandpop was Calabrese, but sadly I dont know much about this side of the family. What I do know is I love the food and flavors of Calabria. Lamb, pork, eggplant and seafood, Calabrian cuisine is packed with fresh meats, zestful produce, and the best homegrown spices for a good recipe, no matter your preferences. While I would have liked summer tomatoes for this dish, cherry tomatoes worked just fine.
You will need:
Pork chops bone in ( I brined mine for 2 hours before so they would be tender)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp Calabrian chilis ( you can use red pepper flakes) or more for a bit more kick
4 oz chopped pancetta
4 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp butter
Chopped basil and/or parsley
1/2 box cooked pasta
Grated Pecorino Romano
Blot pork chops with paper towels to absorb as much moisture as possible. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven, season with black pepper and sear chops on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chops, add garlic and pancetta to same oil. Cook for 5 minutes and don’t burn the garlic. Add chili peppers, and tomatoes, blistering the tomatoes and slightly pressing down to release juices. Cook for 15 minutes, add wine, stir and add chops back in. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. The last 15 minutes get your pasta water boiling. Remove chops and stir butter into tomato sauce, add fresh herbs. Cook pasta, drain and toss into tomato mixture. Serve in pasta bowl with chop on top, add a bit more herbs for garnish. Top with grated cheese.
The pork cooking in the tomatoes adds such an amazing flavor. The pork is tender, the tomato sauce has a buttery kick. I served this with a nice light Chianti. You just cant beat this one.