Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Colorful Pasta

Pasta is perfect for weeknight meal as it is easy and quick to make.We went to Cheesecake Factory(a chain restaurant) once and was going through their menu. There was this pasta dish that caught my eye. It sounded interesting and so I ordered that. It not only looked appetizing but also tasted delicious even though it was Sauceless. I have made it for quite a few times now by guessing the ingredients, making modifications every time to get the perfect taste. Pasta that I use for this recipe is Mezze Penne(it's smaller version of Penne Pasta). But you can use regular penne as well.

1 1/2 Cup Mezze Penne Pasta
1/2 Cup Broccoli cut into medium florets
1/3 Cup Red Bell Pepper chopped
1/3 Cup Yellow Bell Pepper chopped
1 Medium Onion Chopped
1/4 Cup Canned or Marinated Artichoke Hearts chopped
1 Garlic clove crushed
10-12 Kalamata Olives Chopped
Couple of Sun-dried tomatoes(optional)
2 Tbsp Pine Nuts
1/2 tsp Tomato paste
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning(A blend of Italian Herbs)
Salt as per taste
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp dried basil
2 tbps grated parmesan cheese
Roughly chopped basil leaves plus few for garnishing

Cook pasta according to package instruction. Meanwhile heat large skillet over medium heat, pour olive oil followed by pine nuts. Fry until light brown, add crushed garlic, onions and saute for 2 minutes. Next add broccoli, peppers and saute again for few minutes until slightly tender. Then add tomato paste, artichoke hearts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes. Saute all veggies for few more minutes and then add salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning and dried basil. Add cooked pasta, parmesan cheese and chiffonade basil, mix and serve.

Serve it with oven-roasted tomato Bruschetta(Recipe for Bruschetta).

QuickTips-: If you don't have Pine nuts on hand try adding toasted and chopped walnuts.

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