FRESH BASIL AND BLACK OLIVE ZITI
Sauce of mushrooms, shallots, Kalamata olives, and fresh basil tossed with ziti pasta!
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.