GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn--Chef Lisa O'Connell aka The Sauce Queen is thinking cool fall nights and savory warm slow cooker recipes.Here's an easy and delicious slow cooker roasted pork recipe made with dark cocoa and spices, she shared with KARE 11 News at 4 viewers. It's a great twist on an old favorite that you can turn into three totally different meals for the week.

Slow cooker pork roast with dark cocoa and spice

3-4 lb. pork roast, butt or shoulder cut
1 Onion, small, halved and thinly sliced
3 Cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
½ Tablespoon sea salt
1 Teaspoon chili powder
1 Teaspoon cumin
½ Teaspoon white pepper, ground
½ Teaspoon coriander, ground
¼ Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Cup brewed coffee – will add layer of earthy deep flavor to pork- very savory.
Alternatively, 1 cup of citrus juice can be added in place of coffee. Citrus will lighten the flavor of the pork.

Pat Pork roast dry with paper towels and set aside. Combine tomato paste, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, chili powder and cinnamon. Heat a medium skillet over medium to high heat and add a swirl of canola or vegetable oil. While pan is heating, coat roast with rub. Once the pan is hot, place roast in to sear on all sides. Look for a golden brown color before turning.

Place in slow cooker top with thinly sliced onions, pour in coffee or citrus juice, cover and roast on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. Serve sliced or shredded with fresh roasted vegetables.
Chop or shred left over pork and refrigerate or freeze and date for later use.

Cuban quesadillas

4-6 medium size tortillas
1 Cup pickles, thinly sliced
4-6 pieces of deli ham or salami, thinly sliced
1 Small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 Cup green cabbage, thinly sliced or cabbage slaw
1 Cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 Jalapeno, thinly sliced
Olive oil

Arrange tortillas on flat surface and brush one half with mustard and the other half with mayonnaise. Add shredded pork, pickles, cabbage, jalapenos, onions and cheese. Fold one side to cover the other (in half) and place in skillet. Sear on medium heat for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden brown and crisp. Alternatively, wrap folded sandwiches in aluminum foil and bake at 425 for 10 minutes.
Cut in half and serve immediately.

Roasted pork pasta bake

1½ -2 Cups chopped or shredded pork
16 Oz pasta, such as rigatoni or ziti
1 Jar prepared robust style pasta sauce such as Sauce Anna Lisa
2 Cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
½ Cup Ricotta cheese
¼ Cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Prepare noodles as directed- reduce cooking time be 2-3 minutes to slightly undercook noodles- Al dente or firm texture is best, as noodles will continue to cook in oven. Remove noodles from heat and drain under cold water to cool. Place in medium sized glass mixing bowl, add pork, pasta sauce, mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan and toss to combine. Place all ingredients in glass baking dish, top with remaining mozzarella cheese, cover with foil and bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and pasta is heated through. Serve immediately with a fresh salad and crusty baguette.