This aromatic and delicious dish is a recipe from my neighbour, Anne. Actually, it’s not originally Anne’s. It’s a meal she enjoyed at the dinner table of her friend Griff’s childhood home. A Toronto native who grew up in Little Italy, Griff is described by Anne as a “real foodie,” likely due to his families love of cuisine and devotion to old school cooking. “I used to make the meal in the way it was originally introduced to me–as a very spicy dish,” explains Anne. Using a “serious amount of chillis” and peanut oil, Anne made the recipe more kid-friendly by using olive oil, omitting the spice and adding green veggies. “The original didn’t have a single vegetable.” She also made the noodles more appealing to her small children. Formally served over egg noodles, Anne now uses rigatoni or penne.
Ginger Pork and Noodle
500g minced pork
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped spring onions
1 cooking onion, chopped
1 cup sugar snap peas (or any crunchy green vegetable)
1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
8 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
Big chunk of ginger chopped, about the size of two index fingers
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
250g rigatoni pasta noodle (Select rigatoni for a kid friendly dish or egg noodles if you want to grow it up a bit.)
Make pasta according to instructions and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a wok or deep frying pan. Soften chopped cooking onion. Add mushrooms and once softened add minced pork.
After pork is cooked add garlic and ginger. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix it up and cook for a couple of minutes, then add sugar snap peas or another vegetable. Combine and then pour stock of pork mixture. There should be enough stock covering the meat and vegetables so that it is soupy. Add chopped spring/green onion and stir until blended. Ladle over the noodles and garnish with cilantro.
Anne squeezed in some time for SPC to whip up her pork and ginger wonder. As she chopped and grated, Anne shared with me all the reasons she loves it. Aside from her kids (Sam, 7, and Caroline, 4) enthusiasm for it come dinner time, she loves that it can be thrown together in about 20 minutes. You can also throw just about any vegetable you have in the refrigerator into it. From mini-corn to broccoli and bok choy, she changes the dinner up regularly.
After sampling this simple but sensationally tasty dish that has warmly been passed through friends, I was sold. Yet it was Anne’s final pitch that was most satisfying to me: “If you have leftover pork, I usually serve it over brown rice a few days later and everyone thinks it’s a brand new dish.” Dear Griff’s Mommy, thank you! Heart, SPC.