Sunday, June 21, 2009

Whole Wheat Penne with Tomato Artichoke Sauce

When I need a quick dinner I frequently turn to salad and some type of pasta. Tonight we wanted something tomato sauce based for the prostate cancer protection. I had a little of my basic tomato sauce in the freezer and decided to add plain canned tomato sauce to extend the sauce and mellow it out a little. I was making dinner for my husband and parents tonight, and my 80-year-old mother is not very tolerant of spicy food. So, you do what to need to do to make everyone happy.

This sauce was born out of necessity one evening when I wanted artichoke and tomato sauce and didn’t have any frozen artichokes. I grabbed some marinated artichokes, gave them a quick rinse and drain and tossed them into the sauce. To my great surprise the marinated artichokes added a nice acidity that I didn’t plan, but really enjoyed. Adding the marinated artichokes has the same impact as adding capers or olives to the sauce. I now add marinated artichokes to my sauce intentionally.

Whole Wheat Penne with Tomato Artichoke Sauce
Makes 7 servings (provided you have a large salad with this main dish)


5 ¼ cups of basic tomato sauce
28 ounces of tomato sauce, canned
13.25 ounces of whole wheat penne pasta
2 cups of marinated artichoke hearts, quartered, drained and lightly rinsed


Combine the spicy homemade tomato sauce with canned plain tomato sauce and cook over a very low flame so that it simmers gently, for an hour. This slow cooking will reduce the sauce so that it coats the pasta as you see in the photo above.

Cook the penne pasta in 6 quarts of salted water until the pasta is al dente (about one minute less than the package indicates).

While the pasta is cooking quarter, drain and rinse the marinated artichoke hearts. Add the artichokes to the tomato sauce during the last few minutes of cooking so that the artichokes will heat through.

When the pasta is cooked toss it with the sauce and serve hot.

Nutritional Information:

Amount per Serving
Calories - 302
Calories From Fat (7%) - 22.57

Total Fat - 2.59g
Saturated Fat - 0.07g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 813.94mg
Potassium - 733.85mg
Total Carbohydrates - 59.8g
Fiber - 11.73g
Sugar - 8.98g
Protein - 11.49g


This pasta has a nice background of flavor from the hot peppers, olives and vegetables. I tend to like my sauce with bigger flavors but this is a great compromise if you are making dinner for people that aren’t big fans of heat. While this sauce is somewhat mild, it may still be too spicy for children.

Fortunately we have a few servings of this left over for lunch. This pasta reheats well in the microwave, like most pasta dishes. When I pack this for lunch I add lightly cooked broccoli to the dish. Combining lightly cooked broccoli and tomatoes enhances the cancer fighting abilities of both items (or at least that is what researchers that know more about this than I do claim).

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