Monday, February 21, 2011

Italian Slow Cooker Pork Roast

Mamma Mia! It’s not pasta, but it’s Italian. This dish takes a little preparation, but it’s worth the time. If possible, use the fresh herbs and pine nuts. Pine nuts are actually seeds and are on your paleo diet. They have fiber, vitamins, heart-healthy fat, and antioxidants. Right now, unfortunately, pine nuts are expensive, so shop around for a good buy on them. If you only use them a few tablespoons at a time, a bag will last for quite a few recipes. Serve up this dish with some zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, or sautéed spinach.

1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 cloves garlic, 2 minced and 1 halved
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
1 cup dry white wine (or chicken or vegetable broth)
15 oz. can natural diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 pound fresh tomatoes, diced)
¼ cup chopped fresh sage
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ flat leaf parsley, chopped
*2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional)

*To toast nuts, heat a dry pan on the stove and add nuts. Toss the nuts occasionally as they start to become fragrant and lightly browned. Immediately remove from pan.

Mix together the dried sage, dried rosemary, 2 minced garlic cloves, sea salt, and pepper. Rub all over the pork roast. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive in a pan on the stove, and brown the pork roast on all sides. Transfer to slow cooker. Put the onion in the remaining oil that is left in the pan and cook on medium heat until browned. Add the wine or both and continue to cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Pour in the tomatoes and mix together. Set aside.

Put the fresh sage, rosemary, parsley, and remaining garlic into a food processor and pulse until chopped and blended. Add the last tablespoon of olive oil and the pine nuts and pulse again, just once. (If you do not have a food processor, just chop the ingredients as finely as possible and mix together.) Pour HALF of the herb mixture into the tomatoes and mix. Pour over pork. Cook on low for about 6 hours, or until tender.

Remove the pork from cooker. Pour the tomato mixture into a small pan and boil until some of the liquid is evaporated. Pour in the remaining half of the fresh herb mixture. Slice pork and top with tomatoes.

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