Another standby from Marcella Hazan. Modena is in Emilia-Romagna, one of the richest food regions in Italy–home, among other things, of Parmigiano-Reggiano, prosciutto di Parma, and sauce Bolognese–and is itself world-famous for its balsamic vinegar. (It is apparently also where tortellini started out.)
I don’t know exactly what makes this dish “Modena style,” but I do know that it’s easy. Lightly floured pork chops are quickly browned and then braised in chopped tomatoes, along with whole sage leaves.
The first few times we had this–way back in grad school–we also made pasta with Marcella’s butter and sage sauce, which I have to say was very, very good. Nowadays we simply serve it over rice.
Pork Chops, Modena Style, Recipe
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
- 1 pound pork loin chops 2-3 chops, it doesn't really matter
- 1 cup flour
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6-8 whole large sage leaves , roughly chopped or torn
- 2 14-1/2 ounce cans chopped tomatoes
- Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season the flour well with salt and pepper and lightly coat the pork chops on both sides (be sure to shake off any excess flour).
- Once the butter has melted, add the pork chops and sage leaves.
- Lightly brown the pork chops, 1-2 minutes per side.
- While the chops are browning, drain one can of tomatoes and reserve the liquid.
- Add both cans of tomatoes to the pan and season well with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 35 minutes, turning the chops several times.
- Remove the lid and break the chops into bite-size pieces with a wooden spatula.
- Cook for 10 more minutes, uncovered, adding the reserved liquid if the tomatoes have reduced too much.
- Serve over rice or pasta.