What's better than pizza? Not much, but pizzaiola, a Neapolitan dish of meat cooked pizza-style, is a strong contender. Often made with steak, this indulgent version features thinly pounded pork-tenderloin medallions tied around a scamorza-cheese filling. The bundles are seared, then simmered in a rich red-wine tomato sauce. A final topping of cheese on each piece of pork and a trip under the broiler to get it browned and bubbling is the killer last step. It's delicious served on pasta.
Why this recipe works:
- Pork tenderloin bundles are browned and simmered in a rich tomato sauce, infusing the sauce with flavor as it cooks.
- Stuffed and topped with melted scamorza cheese, the pork is incredibly indulgent.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time:15 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes
- 4 pork tenderloin medallions (about 1 1/2 pounds total), pounded 1/4 inch thick
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 thick slices scamorza or mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/3 cup canned roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 pound cooked penne or spaghetti, for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Season pork all over with salt and pepper. Lay pork flat on a work surface and top each tenderloin with a slice of cheese. Roll pork over and around cheese, and tie tightly every 3 inches with a piece of kitchen twine to seal cheese inside.
In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add pork and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer pork to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add red wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, roasted peppers, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, remove twine from pork with scissors, being careful not to unroll the pork; preheat broiler and position oven rack to middle position.
Return pork to Dutch oven, nestling it in the sauce. Top each piece of pork with 1 of the remaining 4 slices of cheese. Cover and continue to cook until cheese is melted and pork is just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Uncover and transfer Dutch oven to broiler and cook until cheese is just browned on top, about 3 minutes.
Discard bay leaves. Transfer pork rolls to plates of pasta and spoon all over with sauce. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.