So, I chose to cook "Blueberry Pork Chops (Braciole Ai Mirtilli)" as this dish is very easy to prepare and seemed quite humble. I was eager to see what it would give... And as an accompaniment, I invented those hot Italian-style tagliatelle which are perfect when eaten with the pork chops as their sweetness contrasts with the spiciness of the pastas.
The meat is tender, the blueberry sauce is delicate yet very tasty and the pastas don't overpower the beautiful aromas of the meat and sauce, but rather enhances the whole dish with a round garlicky touch and a little aphrodisiac warmth confered by the chilli pepper...
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
2. Dust the chops with flour.
3. Heat the oil and the butter in a small flameproof frying pan.
4. Add the chops and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over.
5. Pour in the red wine and cook until it has partly evaporated.
6. Season with salt (and pepper).
7. Pass the blueberries through a food mill and mix with the honey in a bowl.
8. Spread this mixture over the chops, then cover the pan.
9. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
10. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then serve.
HOT ITALIAN-STYLE TAGLIATELLE
200g Dry tagliatelle
40g Unsalted butter, creamed
1 Clove garlic, crushed
1 Medium red chilli, seeded and chopped
5 Tbs Fresh parsley, chopped
A handful dried boleti mushrooms, soaked in water and sliced
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. Add the crushed garlic, red chilli, salt and pepper to the butter and mix well.
2. Cook the tagliatelle and drain.
3. Heat a frying pan.
4. Add the butter mixture and the mushrooms.
5. Fry over medium heat for about 1 minute.
6. Add the pastas and stir-fry gently for about 2 minutes, then add the parsley.
7. Mix well and serve.
Don't overfry the pastas; they should not be crispy nor dry; just like normal pastas should be (al dente).
Eat the blueberry pork chops with the tagliatelle and a delicate winter salad (chicory, radicchio, romaine lettuce with walnuts, olive oil and dark balsamic vinegar). Serve with a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or a Médoc.
(Ponte Vecchio, Firenze -Pic by Renato Nasi www.trekearth.com)