Recipe Time: Pasta Provençal

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.

Pasta:
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.

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4 responses

  1. Well done Suz, well done, indeed!
    I am going to try this one for sure. You are generous to share recipes, fun to read, wise beyond your years……..I love my foodies, Suz and Chris. ‘ can’t wait to share a meal together, ……soon! =)

  2. I will add a recipe that is of a similar flavor – that is, simple and quick. I apologize that I don’t have exact measurements, I haven’t made this one in a while.
    cherry/grape tomatoes – of varying colors – yellow and red in quarters
    avocado – pitted and peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    thin spaghetti

    Cook the spaghetti as per the directions
    In a saute pan mix the tomatoes and avocado with a splash of olive oil over medium low heat. You may want to add a touch of salt and pepper.
    When the spaghetti is done, toss into saute pan.
    Serve hot.

    Very simple dish and pretty tasty.

    • That does sound tasty. If I can stop myself from eating my cherry tomatoes right off the vine so that I can save enough for an actual dish, I’ll have to give it a try. I never would have thought to put avocado in with the pasta, but sounds good, and really healthy, too! Thanks for sharing!

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