FRESH BASIL AND BLACK OLIVE ZITI

FRESH BASIL AND BLACK OLIVE ZITI

Sauce of mushrooms, shallots, Kalamata olives, and fresh basil tossed with ziti pasta!

Serves 8

3 T. margarine

3 T. olive oil

3-4 shallots, peeled and sliced lengthwise into thin strips

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, diced into 3/8 inch cubes

28 oz. can whole tomatoes, drained, seeded and finely chopped

10-3/4 oz. can tomato puree

3/4 c. sliced fresh basil; cut leaves crosswise into 1/8 inch wide strips (using scissors makes this easier)

10 Kalamata black olives; remove pits and cut lengthwise into thin strips

salt and black pepper

1 lb. ziti pasta

2 T. additional margarine

In large skillet, over medium-low heat, melt margarine with oil. Add shallots and mushrooms; salt as desired, then saute till shallots wilt and mushrooms reduce in size by 1/3rd.

Add tomatoes, tomato puree and basil; stir well and cook on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add olives; stir; salt and pepper to taste and cook 10 minutes longer.

While sauce cooks, cook ziti in salted boiling water according to package instructions. Drain well. Return to empty pot; add sauce and additional margarine, then toss till all ingredients are evenly dispersed. Do not over toss. Serve at once.

Notes: Be sure to drain ziti well, otherwise the tubes will hold water and water down the sauce.

The additional margarine added at the end gives the ziti a rich taste and feel.

Shallots are vegetables which resemble garlic in size, and onion in texture and flavor. You could say they are half way between a garlic and an onion. Locate in produce section of your market.

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