For a long time – a looooong time – I never got the whole brining-meat thing. My mom never brined the roasts she served on Sundays, so I never learned to. Her top rounds and rump roasts and roasted slowly in the oven, and presumably, if it was a little dry occasionally, the gravy she made to go with the mashed potatoes compensated nicely. But we live in a different time. Cooking shows have taken the place of soap operas and sitcoms. So after watching enough TV food instruction and inspiration, most recently it was Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, I caved and decided it was worth an experiment with a lean pork loin. And I totally get it now – it was tender and juicy, infused with rosemary, and perfectly seasoned without adding extra salt. Magical! Brining is the way to go!
Oh. My. Gosh. This improvised dinner that was absolutely, fabulously divine, with a hint of earthiness from the mushrooms, flavor from the leeks, and brightness from the artichoke hearts all coming together to coat the penne with love and delicioiusness. It’s easy to make, with a simple broth of just artichoke water, butter, and olive oil thickened with a bit of flour. Read on!