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Penne with Artichokes & Feta

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Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 49

  • 10 oz dried penne rigate (about 3 cups)
  • Coarse salt
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (I use red)
  • 1 package (9 oz.) frozen quartered artichoke hearts, thawed, drained and cut in half
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz. (3/4 cup) crumbled feta cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a full boil and add the pasta and 1 Tbs. coarse salt. Cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet (not nonstick) over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. With tongs, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. When cool, crumble into small pieces.

Add the sliced onion to the bacon drippings in the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned on the edges, about another 4 minutes. Pour in the broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping up all the browned bits in the pan. Boil for 30 seconds to reduce the liquid slightly. Reduce the heat to medium and add the drained pasta, olives, and red pepper. Toss until well blended and warmed.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the crumbled feta and salt and pepper to taste and give the pasta a few stirs. Cover and set aside, stirring occasionally, until the cheese melts a bit (but not completely) and the pasta is coated in creamy, clingy sauce, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately with the crumbled bacon and chopped parsley.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 660; Fat (g): fat g 37; Fat Calories (kcal): 330; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 15; Protein (g): protein g 20; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 64; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1080; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 55; Fiber (g): fiber g 7;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I prepared this dish without the bacon, using olive oil in place of the bacon drippings, and it was delicious! I can only imagine how good it would be with the bacon. Excellent recipe, good enough for company.

OMG!! This was the best tasting easiest meal. I added grilled chicken breast because my boyfriend is a protein fanatic. I did not have peppers available but it did not take away from the flavor. I would eat this meal every night if was not for the bacon. The next time I prepare this I will try it with turkey bacon instead.

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