Everyone knows that slow cookers can be a lifesaver on harried days, and few cuts of meat are better suited to the device than savory pork shoulder (also known as Boston butt), which turns supremely tender after a day of low and slow simmering. A handful of baby spinach adds a pop of freshness and color to the mix—but a bag of frozen spinach or kale would work in a pinch, too. Stirring some bite-size ditalini (or any petite, short pasta) into the rich tomato and chicken stock at the end of cooking gives the dish an appealing, comforting texture and transforms it into a colorful and convenient one-pot slow cooker meal that's as perfect for a weeknight family dinner as it is for a Sunday afternoon watching the big game. Trust us, this satisfying but surprisingly light dish is going to quickly become one of your new staples.

Emily Nabors Hall
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine the pork roast, broth, tomatoes and their liquid, garlic, red pepper, and salt in a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 6 hours.

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  • Add the pasta; cover and cook 10 minutes. Add the spinach; cover and cook until the pasta is al dente, 2 minutes. Serve topped with the Parmesan.

Nutrition Facts

374 calories; fat 15g; saturated fat 6g; cholesterol 76mg; sodium 1653mg; protein 28g; carbohydrates 30g; sugars 5g; fiber 3g; iron 4mg; calcium 154mg.