Prep 30 mins
Cook 50 mins
An aromatic sofrito flavors the pork chops. The sofrito then becomes the base for a tasty pasta sauce. The chops are served with pasta, the sauce and a robust green vegetable such as spinach or escarole. Correction: Soffrito is the correct spelling for this Italian mixture of aromatic vegetables, which is more often know by the French name, mirepoix. Sofrito is a slightly different Caribbean-Spanish mixture used for similar purposes.
- 2 -3 lbs pork chops (4 thick ones)
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup white wine (may be used) or 1⁄2 cup water (may be used) or 1⁄2 cup broth (may be used)
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (edited per SugarPea's comment)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon basil
- Wipe the chops with a damp paper towel and dry them.
- Brown the chops in 1/4 cup of the oil at medium/high heat in a large skillet.
- Remove the chops and set aside.
- Add the vegetables and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil to the pan.
- Caramelize the vegetables at medium heat (this is the sofrito).
- Return the chops to the pan and spoon some of the sofrito over them.
- Add the seasonings and wine.
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
- Add a little water from time to time to prevent the pan from boiling dry.
- Add the tomato sauce.
- Cook covered 10 more minutes.
- Remove the chops and strain the sauce.
- Drizzle some sauce over the chops.
- Dress pasta of your choice with the remaining sauce.
Can't say I've ever made a sofrito before. What a great technique. These are flavor-packed and moist pork chops but watch the amount of red pepper. I followed the ingredients list and it was borderline too hot for me. I used a bit of leftover diced tomatoes in juice to prevent the pan from simmering dry. We really enjoyed the sauce on whole wheat pasta. I couldn't bear to waste all those tasty strained vegetables so I used them the next night, pureed and thinned with turkey broth, as the base for a vegetable chili. Perfect.