Simple Absorption Pasta

  • a fatty pork chop, cubed
  • half an onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • balsamic vinegar, a few drops
  • white wine, a splash
  • half a jar of pasta sauce (whatever is available)
  • dried pasta for 2 (cup shaped pasta is best)
  • butter, olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Being something of a socially-reclusive agoraphobic, it satisfies me greatly when I create a delicious meal entirely from pantry items and thus can be recreated over and over without me ever needing to leave the house. This is a hearty pasta dish that uses simple things you should already have lying around (apart from the pork chop) and it uses the "absorption" method of cooking pasta where raw, dried pasta is added directly to the sauce and simmered until cooked. It creates a luxurious, silken texture that you never get with the traditional boil-drain-dress method.

I find that for dishes like this, cup-shaped pasta works best (although visually they might look unfashionable) as the little cups will help catch the thick sauce as you lift them to your mouth :)

Serves 2 for supper or one greedy person for dinner, with seconds (ahem).

  1. Heat the olive oil and sautee the pork for a minute, browning evenly. Season.

  2. Add a knob of butter and the onion and garlic. Sizzle for a bit, then add the white wine. Reduce the wine on a medium heat. When the wine is almost gone, add a few drops of balsamic, bring the heat right down to the minimum level and cover. Let it bubble like this for at least 20 minutes, until the onions are completely browned and sticky.

  3. Add the dried pasta to the pan. Stir to ensure the pasta gets coated evenly with the mixture. Add the pasta sauce and stir. Pour in enough water to just cover the pasta. Return to a gentle simmering heat and cover. Heat like this for around 10 minutes (test the pasta now and again).

  4. Remove the cover, stir and bring up the heat. Most of the liquid should evaporate after a few minutes of brisk, uncovered bubbling leaving a thick sauce and tender pasta. Stir, season and throw in some chopped basil leaves if you have any.