Friday, December 19, 2008

Penne Siciliano with Jewel Fruit Salad

It doesn't get much easier than this. You just toss a bunch of stuff into a pan and heat it together. It's simple, light, and very tasty. For a non-vegetarian option, add sliced grilled chicken. The salad makes a sweet and pretty accompaniment.

Start to finish: 45 minutes
Yield: 2 servings with plenty of leftovers

*Note: Start marinating for the salad before you do anything else.

Penne Siciliano
1 cup vegetable broth
12 dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes
1 (8 oz) package uncooked penne pasta
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups bagged baby spinach
1 small can sliced olives, drained
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
Parmesan cheese to taste

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot, cook until al dente (9-12 minutes), and drain.
  2. When you put the water on to boil, put the broth into a small saucepan and bring the broth to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the broth for 15 minutes, until softened. Drain, reserving the broth, and chop the tomatoes.
  3. While everything's boiling and soaking, place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until lightly toasted, then remove from heat. (Watch carefully -- they can burn quickly. You can skip this step if you want.)
  4. When the pine nuts are done, heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in the same skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic for about a minute, until tender. Mix in the spinach and cook until almost wilted. Stir in the olives, artichoke hearts, and chopped tomatoes. Pour in the reserved broth. Cook for about 2 minutes, until heated through.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the spinach mixture and pine nuts. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Jewel Fruit Salad
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tangerines
1 cup pomegranate juice
4 cups mixed greens
1/4 cup sliced red onion
2 tablespoons pine nuts
  1. Before you do anything else: Peel and section the tangerines. Place the tangerines in the cup of pomegranate juice and set aside to marinate.
  2. Mix all the vinaigrette ingredients together in a jar with a lid. Set aside.
  3. Drain the tangerines.
  4. Mix marinated tangerines, greens, red onion, and pine nuts in a large bowl.
  5. Toss with vinaigrette and serve.

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