Rush-Hour Gourmet

Stir-fries and pasta dishes are both popular ways for cooks to turn out quick and easy meals.

This Chinese-style stir-fry made with refrigerated pasta combines the two economically with an Asian twist.

Pork Lo Mein is a healthy and economical blend of cuisines.

Pork Lo Mein

Makes 4 servings

1/2 pound boneless pork loin

21/2 cups sugar snap pea pods

11/2 cups ready-to-eat baby-cut

carrots, cut into 1/4-inch sticks

1/2 (9-ounce) package refrigerated linguine, cut into

2-inch pieces

1/3 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons minced gingerroot

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

1. Trim fat from pork. Cut the meat with grain into 1-by-2-inch strips, then cut across grain into 1/8-inch slices. (Pork will be easier to cut if partially frozen.)

2. Remove strings from pea pods.

3. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 2 quarts water to boiling. Add pea pods, carrots and linguine; boil until linguine is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain.

4. In a small bowl, mix broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, gingerroot and garlic.

5. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet or wok, heat the oil medium-hot and stir-fry pork and onion until pork is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Stir broth mixture into the pork mixture. Stir in pea pods, carrots and linguine; stir-cook to heat through, 2 minutes.

6. Serve garnished with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

- From The Betty Crocker Cookbook for Women

by Rita Redberg (Wiley, $24.95).

Per serving: 200 calories, 17 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams sugar, 5 grams fat, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 370 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.