Momma Told Me: Mediterranean Pasta Fresca Recipe And $250 VISA Sweepstakes

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Mediterranean Pasta Fresca Recipe And $250 VISA Sweepstakes

*** This content was not sponsored by the fore-mentioned company. Though I am participating in a recipe show-down competition with another blogger, I was in no way required to share this content with my readers, nor compensated to do so.Mediterranean Pasta Fresca with Anthony's Whole Grain
I've always dreamed of competing in Kitchen Stadium against the great Iron Chefs, or among a gathering of my peers with a box of mystery ingredients on Chopped. I assure you, however, this does not mean I am a classically trained chef, or would ever dare take on Gordon Ramsay in Hell's Kitchen. In fact, my cooking attitude is quite modest; and I probably focus far more on the presentation of these dishes than the preparation. For this reason I dream of myself as a culinary expert, but am in actuality much more of a genuine foodie. I love to experience new ingredients and textures, though my budget rarely allows me to do so to my desires, and the thought of tackling a new recipe in the kitchen thrills me more than the prospect of finally eating it. The sounds gently simmering olive oil as pasta and white wine hit the pan, the scent of freshly shopped garlic on my fingertips, and the unavoidable pride as I pull a dish out of the oven to see that inviting warm baked glow. That's my real motivation to cook.

So, when Anthony's pasta varieties approached me in November and asked if I'd be interested in crafting a recipe to showdown with a fellow blogger I didn't hesitate to accept the challenge. Other than getting my blog name out there in a well known brand's Facebook, and a 1/2 shot at $100 prize, there was little motivation aside from the challenge itself. And, quite honestly, that's really all the excuse I need to grab a 'basket' of fresh ingredients and turn up the stove. Because I was to be featured in January, I was asked to compose a dish using the brand's pasta (of my choice) that could be seen as 'light' or 'healthy' for the new year. Pasta has a bad wrap for being heavy in carbohydrates, but alternative varieties, such as 100% Whole Grain can offer added nutrients and dietary fiber to any dish. Inspired by my warm Southern California Winter, I created a fresh and light Mediterranean Pasta Fresca with Kalamata Olives, Artichoke Hearts, Cherry Tomatoes, and Grilled Chicken in a White Wine Reduction Sauce.

I know my ingredients are a little more bold than the standard cheese and meat pasta entree, and not everyone will love the concept of olives and artichokes; I've got stiff competition in fellow Blog POP! member Being MVP. Elizabeth, of Being MVP is an awesome blogger I've been reading, and looking up to, for years. And her Spaghetti and Teriyaki Meatballs is certainly a powerful competitor; even I will be grabbing the recipe from her blog and trying it out! And, while I'm here to lobby for votes, I'm here to lobby for your vote on either side. Anthony's is offering a $250 VISA gift card to one random voter, at the end of the Tastes Like Home voting period (January 31st, 2014). You can easily log on and vote once a day, it's a as simple as a click, and a two field entry (entry is optional, voting is a single click), so why not log in every day and support your favorite recipe?


Mediterranean Pasta Fresca
***Click here for printable Mediterranean Pasta Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves:2-3

Ingredients:
1 Package Anthony's 100% Whole Grain Spaghetti
2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Medium Sweet Onion, sliced thin, lengthwise
3 Garlic Cloves, sliced thin, lengthwise
1/2 C Marinated Quartered Artichoke Hearts, drained
1/3 C Pitted Kalamata Olives, quartered lengthwise
1/2 C Cherry Tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 C Dry White Wine, such as Chardonnay
2 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 C Flaked Parmesan Cheese
1/2 C Fresh Basil Leaves, Torn
Ground Salt and Pepper
2 Grilled Chicken Breasts, slices into thin strips (Optional)

Directions:

1.) In a large pot of boiling, salted, water, cook Anthony's Whole Grain Spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside 1 C of water. Return pasta to pot.

2.) While the pasta is cooking heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, lemon juice, and a dash of ground salt/pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. (3-4 minutes typically) Add wine and cook until majority has been evaporated.

3.) Add artichoke hearts and cook until they begin to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add olives and half of the prepared tomatoes, cooking just until tomatoes begin to soften.

4.) Introduce cooked pasta to the skillet. Stir in remaining tomatoes, oil, cheese, and torn basil leaves. Thin with reserved pasta water, if desired. Serve topped with cheese and grilled chicken, if desired.

6 comments:

  1. Your recipe looks divine. I've voted and will do so again. Good luck!

    I LOVE artichokes

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  2. I voted -- this looks like something everyone in the family would enjoy. My kids don't eat pasta, but they would eat the black olives and artichokes (strange kids, I know) and I could have their pasta. YUM!

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  3. ...I've been voting since they told me the new one started & I saw you... ;-) Good luck!

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  4. Just voted! That looks delicious!

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