I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

October 13, 2010

Spanish Cassola with Pasta and Pork (p. 216)

This is also called Fideus a la Cassola and kind of reminds me of Bertolli's Skillet Sensations, but in a good way.

Dice the pork and sauté it in olive oil until lightly browned, then add in chopped onions and a thinly sliced red pepper.

Continue cooking until the pepper has softened  and then add in peeled and seeded chopped tomatoes. Cook these down until they have become a thick sauce and then add in peas (I used frozen because I knew I wouldn't have time to shell any.)

Next up is making the picada, which is a sort of coarse paste that adds a lot of flavor to the dish. Roast hazelnuts in the oven until golden -- I used the pre-chopped nuts sold in the cooking section, so I didn't bother chopping them down further after that. Fry a slice of country-style bread (crusts removed) in olive oil until it is golden on both sides.

Add the bread, nuts, and chopped garlic and parsley to a food processor and mix until the ingredients are well combined to a thick paste.

Pour dry, uncooked pasta into the tomato and pork mixture. The recipe calls for noodles -- something long and thin -- but I used a combination of penne and shells because that's what was in my pantry. This part of the recipe is similar to how you make risotto; slowly add simmering chicken stock in stages to the pan. As the pasta absorbs the stock add more in. I used more stock than the recipe called for to make sure the pasta was thoroughly cooked. After the last of the stock has been added, stir in the picada.

Let the dish sit for about five minutes and then serve topped with grated cheese.

This was delicious and we'll totally make it again. The pork absorbs the flavors of the sauce and the picada added a really unexpected nutty flavor. This was a win for both of us.

pork -- $2.38
onion -- $.76
tomatoes -- $1.57
frozen peas -- $3.99 (used 1/2 a cup)
hazelnuts -- $1.99 (used about 1/2 the package)
bread -- $2.19 (used 1 of the four rolls -- we ate the others with dinner and leftovers)
chicken stock -- $2.69 (used about 3/4)
Total Cost of Spanish Cassola with Pasta and Pork: $15.57

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.