Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mediterranean Penne Pasta

Super easy to throw together!  All of these ingredients can be kept on hand for a quick night dinner or surprise dinner guests.  Delicious, fresh tasting, and ready in minutes.  Serve with a crisp Caesar Salad and you have a complete meal.  Italian pasta recipes are the best known by far, but other Mediterranean regions have also developed their own pasta recipes and different types of pasta. Burballes in Majorca, hilofta in Crete, fideus in Catalonia, orzo in Greece, manti in Turkey, couscous in Morocco -they are but a few of the hundreds of different names and shapes of Mediterranean pasta.  So, relax with a great glass of wine and imagine yourself sitting in the warm Mediterranean sun, looking across the beautiful azure sea, dining alfresco with a great bunch of friends.  Let your taste buds take a quick vacation from the cold outside.

Mediterranean Penne Pasta

1 large red red bell pepper, roasted, see instructions below
1/2 C Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
4 ounces Prosciutto, broiled to crisp, if desired
1/2 C Sun-dried tomatoes, olive packed, drained and diced
1/3 C Pesto
1-6 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 Tbl Capers, rinsed and drained
8 ounces Penne Pasta
1/2 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded and divided
1/4 C Pine Nuts, toasted
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Lay red pepper on it's side on rack of a gas burner and turn flame on high.  Roast pepper, turning with tongs, until skin is blackened, 5 to 8 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and let stand, covered, 15 minutes.  Rub skin off  with paper towels and discard stem and seeds.  Chop the pepper in medium size dice, place in a large bowl.  If desired, place slices of prosciutto on small sheet pan and broil for a few minutes, add to bowl.  Stir in olives, sun-dried tomatoes,  pesto, artichoke hearts, and capers.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and oil, drain.  Add cooked pasta and 1/4  cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to bell pepper mixture and toss gently to combine.
Serve and sprinkle individual servings with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, fresh ground pepper, and toasted pine nuts.

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1 comment:

  1. This looks tasty and easy. A nice change from the holidays. Happy new year.


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