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The Neverending Pasta (Grecian Pasta)

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 thinly sliced red pepper
1/2 thinly sliced yellow pepper
1/2 thinly sliced green pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced in 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
4 ounces soft goat cheese (chèvre)

Cooked Penne Pasta (recipe follows)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup cooked artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 cup Kalamata or Sicilian olives (see note)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Over medium heat, sauté garlic (we used 3 cloves) until softened, about 2 minutes. Add peppers (we used all of three peppers) and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes (we used 3) and stir just until they release their juices, about 2 minutes. Stir in goat cheese (we used 5.3 ounce package) to make a creamy sauce.

Toss with cooked pasta (we used 1 pound), hazelnuts (we used 3/4 cup nuts, which are also known as filberts), artichokes (we used 8.5 ounces of drained, canned artichokes), olives and basil. Drizzle with lemon juice (we used 3 tablespoons) and remaining olive oil (we used 2 tablespoons). Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Note: If these two types of olives are unavailable, any other brine-cured olive may be substituted.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Penne Pasta

2 1/2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
8 to 10 ounces penne pasta

In a 4-quart kettle bring water to boil. Add salt and pasta, stir, and cook until just barely tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse, if desired.

Adapted from "Hazelnuts and More" by Lucy Gerspacher

Sunday, September 05, 1999

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