May 8, 2010

Antipasto-Style Penne

I am trying to shake off last night's dinner fiasco, and start fresh today with another new Cooking Light recipe. This pasta looks very promising, and just the thing to make me forget about the salmon crackers I made yesterday. (I take it personally when I screw up our dinner...especially when it involves pricey ingredients, like wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon fillets.) Anywho, I am excited to try this dish; especially since it has all the bright Italian-inspired flavors that I love. As with most of our pasta meals, a fresh green salad will round out our dinner.

Antipasto-Style Penne
From: David Joachim, Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2009;

1 medium red bell pepper
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup refrigerated pesto
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
1 (7-ounce) jar oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and chopped
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel and chop bell pepper; place in a large bowl. Stir in olives, pesto, prosciutto, tomatoes, and artichokes.

3. Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Add cooked pasta and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to bell pepper mixture, and toss gently to combine. Spoon about 1 cup pasta mixture into each of 6 bowls, and sprinkle each serving with 2 teaspoons remaining cheese and 2 teaspoons pine nuts.

Nutritional Information:
Yield: 6 servings
Fat:21.3g (sat 4.4g,mono 10.6g,poly 4.4g)

Jen's Notes:
If you prefer crispy prosciutto, spread it out on a cooking spray-coated baking sheet and broil 4 minutes.

The Result:
Fan-freakin'-tastic! This was soooo yummy! If you like the flavors of classic Italian antipasto, you will love this pasta. We all loved this delicious recipe, and I can't wait to make it again soon. Yum!!!! I made sure to top the pasta with the crispy prosciutto and I roasted my red pepper over the open flame on my gas stove. Other than those minor differences, this recipe was perfect as-is. Also, it was pretty simple to put together and required very little actual cooking. By the time I got everything assembled, the pasta was room temperature; which I actually liked. This dish will be a great meal in the midst of the soon-to-be ridiculous Arizona heat. This will be a pasta you will see a lot more often from us...especially during the summertime.

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