Pork & Pear Pasta
A refreshingly different pasta recipe for fall, with “the other white meat” and our favorite fall fruit.





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October 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Pastas

Recipe: Pork & Pear Pasta

The Flavors Of Fall In A Hearty Pasta Dish


The warm days are gone: Now look for pasta recipes that stick to the ribs. This unusual preparation combines lean boneless pork with pears. The recipe, from the National Pasta Association, calls for canned pears and utilizes the juice in the can as well as the fruit. However, we prefer the flavor and texture of fresh fruit, and made the substitutions indicated, poaching fresh fruit and using delicious pear nectar, for a more sumptuous dish.


  • 1 pound mostaccioli, ziti* or other medium pasta shape, uncooked
  • 1 29-ounce can pear halves packed in heavy syrup, undrained
    (or, substitute 4 fresh, ripe pears and 12 ounces of canned or bottled
    pear juice or pear nectar)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound lean boneless pork, cut julienne
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh whole thyme
  • 2 cups fresh uncooked spinach, sliced thinly
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*Mostaccioli (must-a-KYO-lee), or small moustaches, are one of hundreds of pasta shapes. Large, 2" long tubular pasta, they are cut on the diagonal (slanted or angled ends), with a plain surface, similar to penne. They’re a specialty of the Campania region of southern Italy which includes the cities of Capri, Naples and Sorrento. Ziti (ZEE-tee), also from southern Italy, are a medium-sized, long, thin tubular pasta. The tubes are often ridged. The word is Italian vernacular for “bridegrooms,” and in Campania and Sicily, baked ziti is traditionally served at wedding banquets. See our Guide To Pasta Shapes and our Pasta Glossary for more information.


  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, drain and chop the pears, reserving 1½ cups of juice.  If using fresh pears, peel and poach them prior to chopping.
  2. Blend cornstarch and soy sauce until smooth. Sprinkle the pork with ground red pepper.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the pork and stir-fry until thoroughly cooked. Remove pork from the skillet and set aside. Add the bell pepper to the skillet and sauté 1 minute. Add pears and thyme. Cook until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.
  4. Add pork, reserved juice, cornstarch mixture, sesame oil and vinegar, if desired. Cook until thickened and bubbly, stirring occasionally.
  5. Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Add the pork mixture and toss. Add the spinach and toss well. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 8 .

Nutritional Analysis/Serving

Calories: 584
Total Fat: 7g
Calories From Fat: 11%
Cholesterol: 33.5mg
Total Carbohydrates: 103g
Protein: 26.4g



Recipe and photo courtesy of the National Pasta Association. Other material Lifestyle Direct, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Images are the copyright of their individual owners.

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