If you check your calendar, you will see that Easter was forty days ago. For the faithful, forty days has great meaning.
Christ fasted for forty days and nights. It is the bases for the Forty Days of Lent. Upon His resurrection, Christ remained on earth for forty days before His ascension into Heaven. Today is Ascension Thursday. Some attend Mass, others have gardens blessed. Many young families celebrate with an Ascension Thursday Picnic. Remember – today is also National Apple Pie Day. Picnic and Apple Pie – how nice is that?
Today is also May 13 – another significant day in the Catholic Faith. On this day in 1917, three children in Fatima, Portugal, claim that a woman “brighter than the sun” appeared to them. She wanted the children to pray the Rosary and to devote themselves to the Holy Trinity. Our Lady promised World Peace (the end of World War I) yet warned of future wars, should people turn from God. The Lady appeared six times in total, on the 13th of each month. The most famous of Our Lady’s appearances at Fatima took place on October 13. This is known as The Miracle of the Spinning Sun.
As a faithful Catholic, I feel especially blessed to celebrate both Ascension Thursday and Our Lady of Fatima together.
What could be better than a Spring inspired supper? Once again, you don’t need to be Catholic or even a believer to appreciate good food. Have a wonderful day!
Springtime Pork Chop Piccata with Broccoli Spaghetti
8 oz Spaghetti Pasta
8 oz Broccoli Florets, halved or quartered if large
3 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup fresh Parsley
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
4 bone-in 1/2-inch thick Pork Chops
1 tablespoon Flour
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/3 cup dry White Wine
2 tablespoons drained Capers
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook as the label directs for al dente, adding the broccoli in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and broccoli and return to the pot. Add 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons parsley, the lemon zest and a big pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir well, adding the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen.
Meanwhile, season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Dust with the flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until well browned and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Carefully add the wine to the skillet, scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Cook until reduced by about half, then stir in the lemon juice and capers; return to a simmer. Remove from the heat and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons each butter and parsley until the butter is melted. Pour in any accumulated juices from the plate of pork. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
To serve; plate pork on the plates and spoon the sauce on top. Serve alongside the spaghetti. Wonderful with warm bread. Enjoy!