Monday, October 24, 2011

Meatless Monday... Pasta Puttanesca

It's the start of a new week and meatless Monday is full speed ahead.  This week we are making Pasta Puttanesca!  This dish was once said to be made by prostitutes to lure customers in by its powerful aroma.  It can be made with items from your pantry, for those nights when you don't have fresh produce in the house.  Traditionally, it has anchovy fillets, tomatoes, garlic, capers, and olives in it.  I traded the anchovies for artichoke hearts and got the sauce simmering in no time.  It has a savory yet salty flavor that leaves you feeling satisfied, even without meat.  

To add a little more protein to out vegetarian meal I used cheese ravioli instead of linguine or spaghetti. You could make this substitution or you could add white beans to the sauce to bulk up the meal a little.  Start with a side salad and dinner is ready in about 30 minutes!

A bit on olives: Olives are a prized food and often recognized for their oils.  Whether you consume them whole or as an oil, they provide many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  New studies also have found that compounds in olives may help stop bone loss, which is especially important for older individuals.  As with any oil, they are high in calories, so quantity is key.  A Tbsp of olive should be enough to saute most dishes.  1 Tbsp provides about 120 calories, so just keep that in mind if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight.  Olives are low in calories and are a good source of fiber and Vitamin E.  Eat them as a snack with a slice of cheese, or throw them on a salad or sandwich!  

Pasta Puttanesca
Serves 6

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp capers
1 can of artichoke hearts
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 pound of pasta
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook the pasta as directed.  Serve pasta sauce over pasta and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts: 8 small ravioli (or 1 cup of pasta) with 1/2 cup of sauce
450 calories, 59 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 18 g fat, 6 g fiber,

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