Saucy pan-roasted pork chops over pasta

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
37 min
7 min
30 min
Delicious and rewarding, in less than 40 minutes this recipe produces a scratch-made sauce and hits the table with an eye-catching combination of red sauce and cheesy topped pork chops. A quick pan sauce is the star, replete with garlic and Italian seasonings. Pork chops seared to perfection then finished with ooey-gooey melted mozzarella cheese are especially delicious when sprinkled with a hint of fresh basil. Easy enough for a weeknight, this dish is filling and tasty enough for your pickiest guests. Complete this robust meal by adding steamed spinach to the plate. Looking for a cooler option, add a simple green salad with a touch of red wine vinegar and oil for dressing.


Uncooked whole wheat pasta

4 oz, ziti or penne

Garlic clove(s)

2 medium clove(s), minced

Canned tomato puree

14½ oz

Italian seasoning

¾ tsp

Red pepper flakes


Uncooked center rib pork loin (lean and fat)

20 oz, or loin chops, trimmed

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Shredded fat free mozzarella cheese

¼ cup(s)


leaf/leaves, (optional)


  1. Cook the ziti according to the package directions, omitting the salt if desired.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a large saucepan with olive oil cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the tomato puree, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
  3. Generously spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and set over high heat. Sprinkle the pork with the salt and black pepper. Add the chops to the skillet and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium-low and sprinkle the chops evenly with the mozzarella. Cover the skillet and cook until the cheese is melted and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the side of a chop registers 160°F for medium, about 6 minutes.
  4. Divide the ziti evenly among 4 plates and top with the tomato sauce and a pork chop. Sprinkle with basil, if using. Yields 1 cup ziti, 1 pork chop, and scant 1⁄2 cup sauce per serving.