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Barilla Pennette with Vegetables and Pecorino Toscano Cheese

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This simple recipe shows how pasta can be the answer to a quick, healthy, and balanced meal. Pennette serves as the meeting point for fresh vegetables and seasonal ingredients — baby artichokes, asparagus, and grape tomatoes — plus some freshly grated Pecorino Toscano cheese, just because. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pennette pasta, such as Barilla
  • 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, cut into 1/2-inch half moons
  • 8 baby artichokes, cleaned and quartered
  • 4 Ounces oyster mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus, sliced on a bias in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 leaves basil, torn
  • 1/2 Cup Pecorino Toscano cheese, freshly grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes or until salt. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the artichokes and continue to cook for two more minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, until the mushrooms have wilted. Add the asparagus and tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. 

Cook the pasta for one minute less than the cooking time on package directions, then drain the pasta and add it directly to the sauce. Mix the pasta with the sauce and cook for an additional minute in the sauté pan.

Remove from heat and drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the pasta dish. Sprinkle with basil and mix well. Top with Pecorino Toscano cheese. Serve immediately.