Italian Pork Chops
and tomato sauce with greens / parmesan polenta
This Italian-inspired meal is comforting and classic. Best served in shallow bowls to contain the polenta and sauce, you'll want to get some of each component in every bite.
Smarts: Be sure to keep the heat relatively low as the pork cooks. The honey in the marinade will help the pork to get a nice sear but can burn if cooked too hot.
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 2 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Italian seasoning - 1 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Pork chops, boneless - 4
- Power greens - 5 oz , chopped (labeled as “power greens” these are usually a mix that includes spinach and kale; sub baby spinach)
- Shallots - 2 cloves , diced
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Oregano, dried - 1 tsp
- Tomatoes, crushed (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can (sub tomato sauce or puree)
- Cheese, parmesan - 1 oz , grated
- Water - 2 cups
- Milk - 1 cup (sub water)
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Polenta - 1/2 cup (use regular polenta; if using instant polenta, adjust according to package directions)
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
Marinate pork - Whisk together vinegar, first portion of cooking oil, Italian seasoning, mustard, and honey. Add pork chops and tenderize with a fork. Turn pork chops to completely coat in marinade. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
Cheese / Greens / Shallots - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Combine water, milk, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, keeping a close eye on it because milk can easily spill over. Add polenta while whisking to prevent lumps. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until polenta becomes thick and creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. (Keep an eye on it as it cooks. If the water evaporates too quickly and polenta thickens, add some additional water.)
While polenta simmers, remove pork from marinade (discard marinade). Season on both sides with some salt and pepper.
Sear pork chops on each side for ~5 minutes. For thin pork chops, this should be enough heat to cook them through. If you’re using thicker pork chops, lower heat and cover with a piece of foil until pork reaches 145F / 63C degrees.
Transfer pork chops to a cutting board and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
Return the pan you used to cook the pork chops to medium-high heat. Add olive oil, shallots, and greens. Saute until greens are wilted and any excess liquid has cooked off, 4 to 6 minutes.
To greens, add in oregano and crushed tomatoes. Cook until greens are coated in tomato sauce and sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with some salt and pepper.
Return to polenta and whisk in butter and cheese. Taste and season with some more salt, if needed.
Serve sauce and pork over polenta. Enjoy!