As a full time public relations and social media professional and part time food writer, things can get a little crazy at Abelhaus. But no matter how busy things get, I love to take time to connect with my family in the kitchen. One family tradition that’s always on the menu is Italian-inspired dishes, like today’s recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Marinara, Mozzarella and Basil.
I was first introduced to this recipe by my German mother-in-law, who prepared it with pride on one of my first visits to Germany. Tangy tomato sauce, perfectly tender pork, bright basil and gooey melted mozzarella, nestled over pasta—it was love at first bite. When we returned home from that visit to Europe, I began making the recipe on regular rotation. While the original recipe used canned tomato sauce, onions and garlic, I simplified it with my favorite jarred tomato sauce, Ragu.
Simmered in years of tradition, Ragu 7-Herb Tomato or any other Ragu tomato sauce is the perfect choice to accompany this stunning dish. Assunta Cantisanto brought her family’s original tomato sauce from Italy to America in 1937, and ever since, Ragu has remained America’s favorite pasta sauce. Another thing I love about Ragu is that it’s made with farm fresh ingredients, with no artifical colors, flavors or high fructose corn syrup. Get inspired by Assunta’s story on Ragu’s website.
Pork Tenderloin with Marinara, Mozzarella and Basil is a healthy, flavorful way to bring home-style Italian flavors to your dinner table. I cut 2 1/2 pounds of lean pork tenderloin into 3/4-inch medallions, seasoned with salt and pepper and then sautéed until golden. Protip: Say no to grey, overcooked pork! It’s perfectly okay (and much more delicious) for your pork tenderloin to be slightly pink in the center, as long as it cooks to 145 degrees on a meat thermometer.
Next, I layered 2 cups of Ragu 7-Herb Tomato Sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and nestled in the pork medallions. I topped each medallion with a dollop of homemade basil pesto, a slice of tomato, a leaf of fresh basil and a thin slice of fresh mozzarella. To finish the dish, I drizzled over some of my favorite, high quality olive oil. After a quick 20-minute bake in the oven, I browned the cheese under the broiler until golden and gooey.
Pork Tenderloin with Marinara, Mozzarella and Basil is bursting with the inspired, authentic Italian flavor of Ragu. We like to serve this recipe over cooked spaghetti or with a size of crusty bread. For a low-carb option, serve it over lightly-cooked zoodles or spaghetti squash. Not a pork eater? No worries! Try this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken breast in place of pork tenderloin.
I encourage you to try Pork Tenderloin with Marinara, Mozzarella and Basil with one of Ragu’s many inspired tomato sauces. A big thank you to Ragu for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to share this family tradition. Be sure to visit Ragu’s website to find out all about traditions and recipe inspiration!
- 2½ pounds pork tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (24 ounce) jar Ragu marinara sauce (recommended: 7-Herb Tomato)
- 1⁄2 cup basil pesto
- 4 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 20 -30 basil leaves
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces cooked spaghetti, for serving
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Trim the pork tenderloins to remove "silver skin," then slice into ¾-inch thick rounds. Season pork with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet to medium high and add olive oil. Brown tenderloin medallions 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden. Set aside.
- Pour Ragu marinara sauce into a 9 X 13-inch baking dish. Nestle in pork slices, face up.
- Top each slice of pork with a dollop of basil pesto, a slice of tomato, a fresh basil leaf and a thin slice of mozzarella.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Place dish under the broiler for a few minutes to until cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Serve over cooked pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash or with slices of crusty bread.