A really tasty recipe with a Mediterranean sort of flair. (The artichokes and olives give it a nice residual saltiness that says Mediterranean to me, anyway.) There were some different textures in there. And it was great to go out to my garden and pick off some basil leaves and use them not even 30 minutes later–I can’t wait to make this again when I can use some of my own cherry tomatoes!! It’s not a terribly complicated recipe, but making sure everything is ready to go (the mis en place, as they say) is the most important–it’s one of those recipes where you don’t need to do a lot of cooking, but when that pasta is done, you need to be ready with everything else to just mix, toss, and plate.
8 oz dried penne
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 oz pitted black olives, drained and chopped
1 oz dry-pack sun-dried tomatoes, soaked, strained, and chopped
14 oz canned artichoke hearts, strained and halved
4 oz baby zucchini, strained and halved (I sauteed some quartered slices of full zucchini)
4 oz baby plum tomatoes, halved
3 1/2 oz assorted baby salad leaves
shredded basil leaves to garnish
Dressing: (as usual, I doubled this)
4 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
2 tbsp lowfat cream cheese
1 tbsp unsweetened orange juice
1 small bunch of fresh basil, shredded
1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain well and return to the pan. Stir in the oil, salt, pepper, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Set aside.
2. Lightly sauteed zucchini, artichokes, and plum tomatoes. Gently mix into the cooked pasta.
3. Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Toss into vegetables and pasta.
4. Arrange the salad leaves in a large serving bowl. Spoon the mixture on top of the salad leaves and garnish with shredded basil leaves.