Pulled pork can do more than fill a bun
We all know pulled pork makes a killer sandwich. But I wanted to see how it held up to another carb - pasta.
So I started by making a basic pulled pork. But instead of barbecue sauce, I used a blend of sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, crÃÂ¨me fraÃÂ®che and garlic. This combination would offer bold flavors and colors, and would work better with the pasta than barbecue sauce would.
But I did want a hint of that tangy, spicy barbecue flavor, so I spiced the sauce with red wine vinegar (cider vinegar would be good, too) and a splash of hot sauce. Diced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce would be a great alternative.
Then I tossed the whole thing with pulled pork tenderloin and fresh cheese tortellini. While any pasta would work, I liked the creaminess added by the cheese in the tortellini.
Pulled Pork with Roasted Red Peppers, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Tortellini
Start to finish: 50 minutes
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 cups water
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
12-ounce package cheese tortellini
8 1/2-ounce jar oil-packed julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes
12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
cup crÃÂ¨me fraÃÂ®che
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan over high, combine the peppercorns, cumin, salt and water. Bring to a boil, then add the pork.
Return the pork to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cooked for 40 minutes, or until an instant thermometer reads 160 F at the center of the pork, or until the meat is fork tender.
Drain the pork, discarding the solids in the water, then return the pork to the pan. Use 2 forks to pull and tear apart the meat into strands and chunks.
Bring a second medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, add the sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red wine vinegar, crÃÂ¨me fraÃÂ®che, hot sauce and garlic to pork. Warm mixture over low heat.
When the pasta is cooked, add it to the pork mixture, then toss well. Season with salt and pepper.