There are some evenings I just crave for Italian food. This Mediterranean Pasta, or pasta-salad is really easy to make and can be loaded with different veggies (think zucchini or scallions!). Tips for making this recipe extra healthy: use whole grain pasta, add some chopped garlic and lemon juice (works wonders for lowering cholesterol).
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt — plus 1 teaspoon, divided
- 6 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta — whole wheat spaghetti, or similar whole wheat noodles (I recommend DeLallo whole wheat pasta)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 cups grape tomatoes — or cherry tomatoes
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts — (14 ounces)
- 1 can whole pitted black olives — (6 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- one fourth cup freshly squeezed lemon juice — about 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- one fourth cup fresh Italian parsley — chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain.
- While the water boils and pasta cooks, prep your vegetables and remaining ingredients: mince the garlic; halve the cherry tomatoes; drain and roughly chop the artichokes; drain and slice the olives in half. Once the vegetables start cooking, the recipe goes quickly, so you want to be ready.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes begin to break down and release some juices into the oil, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Add the artichokes and olives. Drizzle the lemon juice over the pasta. Continue tossing and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until warmed through. If the pasta seems too dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen it. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Toss once more and enjoy.
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