One of my favorite things about leftovers are the things you can turn them into. While most home cooks wouldn’t slow roast a hunk of pork to make a pasta dish, if you happen to have some sitting around, there are lots of awesome possibilities that open up.
This is something I was contemplating while the pork was still roasting in the oven on Sunday. It’s a bit unusual for me in that I actually have a great dislike for walnuts (unless they are candied and in a salad), but for some reason, as the aroma of ginger, garlic and 5-spice wafted through the apartment, all I could think about was how well it would go with walnuts.
The following is a ludicrously simple recipe (assuming you have roast pork sitting around) that tastes a lot more complex than it actually is. I didn’t want chunks of walnuts, interrupting the texture of the al dente, pasta, so I pounded the walnuts into a paste with a mortar and pestle with some olive oil and Pecorino Romano cheese. The cheese adds a slightly sharp saltiness that compliments both the rich pork and walnuts nicely. I wanted to make this with orecchiette (little ear pasta), but unfortunately my groceries didn’t show up when I thought they were going to, so I had to make due with boring old linguine this time.
1/3 C walnut halves
1/4 C grated pecorino romano cheese
2 Tbs olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 C roast pork cut into 1/2″ cubes
8 oz cooked pasta
Using a mortar and pestle (or food processor), crush the walnuts until a fine paste. Add the cheese, olive oil and black pepper and combine.
When the pasta, is done, drain and add the cubed roast pork into the hot pot along with the pasta and pesto. Toss to thoroughly coat the pasta with the pesto then serve immediately.