1/2 pound whole wheat shells or penne pasta
4 golden apples, cored and chopped
1 cup cloudy apple cider
3 tablespoons brown sugar
A handful of golden raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 large center-cut pork loin chops, 1 1/2-inches thick each
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 tablespoons butter
1 rounded tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 pound extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
A few grates of nutmeg, to taste
2 tablespoons spicy brown or grainy Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups broccoli tops, cut into small florets
Heat a large pot of water for pasta. Season the water with salt and cook the pasta to al dente.
Add the apples to a medium pot and stir in the cider, sugar, raisins and cinnamon. Place the pot over medium-high heat and cook until tender, 12 minutes.
Season the chops with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side.
While the chops cook, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for one minute, then whisk in the milk and season with salt and pepper. Grate the cheese and stir into the sauce and season with nutmeg, to taste. Reduce the heat to low.
Add the broccoli to the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cook time. Drain the pasta and broccoli mixture and return to the pasta pot. Add the cheese sauce and stir to coat.
Add the mustard and syrup to the chops and glaze, 1 minute.
Serve the pork chops topped with with apple-raisin sauce and mac ‘n cheese alongside. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to www.yum-o.org.