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Kalamata Pasta (Penne Caprese)

12 oz. Penne pasta
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 tomatoes
1/2 red onion or 1 small one
bunch of fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried or fresh tarragon
1/4 cup coarsely chopped, pitted, black Kalamata olives (about 15 whole olives)
2 smallish zucchini
6 oz. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Garlic Bread

  • heat a large pot of water to boiling and cook the penne until just tender. Drain well.
  • while penne is boiling:
  • wash basil and pull leaves off of stems, set aside.
  • wash and dice tomatoes.
  • wash and thinly slice the zucchini.
  • dice red onion and mince the garlic.
  • remove pits from olives and chop. (or buy pitted olives if available).
  • in a high-walled skillet, heat the oil over low heat, add the red onion first for one minute then the garlic and zucchini slices, sauté, stirring frequently until tender, about 4 minutes.
  • during the last 30 seconds of sautéing place the basil leaves into the skillet and fold in gently.
  • transfer the onion garlic mix to a large bowl.
  • add the tomatoes and tarragon and toss to coat.
  • stir in the Parmesan and/or Romano and the olives.
  • add the penne and toss to combine.
  • serve with Garlic Bread.

Possible additions or alternatives: French Nicoise olives, Greek feta cheese, diced Mozzarella cheese, red bell pepper, diced cucumber.

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