Penne Pasta with Balsamic Sweet Potatoes, Baby Arugula, and Parmesan

Posted on February 20, 2012 by Tommye Solem


1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (try one of our Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oils for fun flavor!)
2-3oz. baby arugula or spinach
2 cups penne pasta
1 Tablespoon Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2/3 cup coarsley grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to instructions on package. While pasta is cooking, peel sweet potatoes and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Heat olive oil in large frying pan and begin to saute the sweet potatoes over medium heat stirring occasionally so they don't burn on one side. When sweet potatoes are soft and cooked through, turn heat to low and add the other 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Saute over low heat, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes more or until the sweet potatoes are all glazed with the vinegar. Season sweet potatoes well with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Wash the arugula (or spinach) if needed and then place in the bottom of the colander where you're going to drain the pasta. When pasta is done, scoop out 1/2 cup pasta cooking water; then pour the hot pasta over the arugula. Let it drain for a minute or so, then add the pasta and arugula to the pan with the sweet potatoes and stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and stir gently again. Then add most of the Parmesan cheese and stir again. Serve hot, with the reserved Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over each serving at the table.

Maple-Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops with Thyme Poached Quince

Posted on February 20, 2012 by Tommye Solem

Ingredients (Pork Chops):

8 boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil (try our Arbosana, Picholine, Leccino or Frantoio/Leccino)
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/3 cup Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar

Ingredients (Thyme Poached Quince):

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Pumpkin Spice White Balsamic Vinegar
1 - 3" sprig fresh thyme
1 ripe quince (about 10 oz.) peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (apples can be substituted by reducing the poaching time to 20 minutes)

Instructions: Thyme Poache Quince

Bring water and balsamic to a simmer in a 2 - 2 1/2 quart saucepan. Add the quince and sprig of thyme. Simmer, gently stirring once or twice, until quince is tender, about 35 minutes. Discard the thyme sprig, drain quince in a sieve set over a bowl and reserve for pan sauce.

Instructions for Pork Chops:

Pat pork chops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. In nonstick 12 inch skillet, heat the EVOO over med-high heat. Cook chops 4 minutes one side, turn over and cook 3 minutes the other side. Transfer to platter and keep warm. Increase heat to high. Stir shallot into pan juices; cook 2 minutes. Stir in the balsamic and cook down for an additional 2 minutes. Add the strained poached quince to the pan and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

To serve, ladle the pan sauce and quinces over the pork chops.

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