Aside from having all your favorite people together in one place, the best thing about Friendsgiving is that you don’t have to stick to the classics.
That’s why pork Milanese with cacio e pepe spaghetti is perfect for your pals. Panfried cutlets of pork are the perfect pairing for everyone’s favorite of-the-moment, pepper-spiked pasta (check out the video above for more Friendsgiving ideas).
You’ll want to pound the cutlets very thin so they cook up quickly and evenly, and turn them when they’re just getting golden brown. When it's time to cook the pasta, make sure and save some of that pasta water. It's the secret ingredient to a silky sauce down the road. Looking for that final burst of flavor? Serve the pork with parsley and lemon wedges. Because let’s face it: what comes out of the kitchen is directly proportional to how much fun everyone has. Learn to master these recipes and you’ll secure loyal BFFs for many Friendsgivings to come.
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Pork Milanese with Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti
Recipe from the National Pork Board
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
For the Pork Chops:
4 New York pork chops, cut about ¾ inch thick
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
¾ cup Italian-seasoned dried bread crumbs without cheese
Olive or vegetable oil, for frying
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for garnish
For the Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti:
8 ounces spaghetti
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese or more Parmesan
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. Make the pork Milanese: Preheat the oven to 200°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack.
2. One at a time, place the pork between two 1-gallon plastic storage bags. Using a flat meat pounder or a rolling pin, pound the pork until it’s wider and flatter, about ⅓ inch thick.
3. Spread the flour in a shallow, wide bowl. Beat the eggs in a second bowl and spread the bread crumbs in a third bowl. Coat each pork chop in flour, shaking off the excess, dip in the egg and then coat with bread crumbs. Place on another baking sheet and let stand 5 minutes to set the coating.
4. In a skillet, pour enough oil to come about ⅛ inch up sides of the pan. Heat over moderately high heat until the oil shimmers. Working in 2 batches to avoid crowding, add the pork and cook, adjusting the heat so the pork does not burn, until the underside is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pork and cook until the other side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to the wire rack and keep warm in the oven while cooking remaining pork.
5. Meanwhile, make the cacio e pepe: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. When the second batch of pork is in the skillet, add the spaghetti to the water and cook according to the package directions. Scoop the pasta out, reserving ⅓ cup of cooking water and discarding the rest.
6. Drain the spaghetti and return it to the pot. Add the cheeses and pepper. Mix well, adding enough of the cooking water to make a creamy sauce. Transfer the pork and pasta to dinner plates. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve hot with lemon wedges.