Loaded with fresh ideas, I pulled this recipe from my "to make" list for an easy weekend meal. When I showed the recipe to my husband, he requested that I add some chicken. I thought it would be a great addition, too, and decided that seasoning it with Herbs de Provence would be a great complement to the flavors in the dish.
This dish is not only delicious, but a cinch to throw together. The flavors are great (of course, I am a huge fan of feta cheese), and we discovered an added bonus - it is also delicious as a cold pasta salad for leftovers!
Mediterranean Vegetable, White Bean and Feta Penne
Source: Slightly adapted from Clean Eating Magazine, February 2011, Page 40
6 oz whole-grain penne pasta
1 cup cooked canned white beans, drained and rinsed well
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced, divided
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium zucchini, cut into eighths lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips, then cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breats (optional)
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence (optional)
1. Cook penne according to package directions, adding beans during the last minute of cooking.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, vinegar, basil, pepper flakes and salt; set aside.
3. (Optional if using chicken) Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat, tilting skillet to coat bottom lightly. Sprinkle chicken with herbs de provence, then add to skillet. Cook about 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove from skillet.
4. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in same skillet over medium high heat, tilting skillet to coat bottom lightly. Add zucchini and bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes or until edges begin to brown, stirring frequently. Add remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook for 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in tomato mixture and drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp oil. Chop chicken into bite size pieces and add to vegetable mixture. Cover to keep warm.
Four: Drain penne-bean mixture, place in a serving bowl, sprinkle evenly with rosemary and all but 1/4 cup feta. Spoon vegetable/chicken mixture over top and finish with remaining feta.