If sugar snaps aren’t available, substitute snow peas or green beans. For an even more substantial dish, add 1 cup diced part-skim mozzarella cheese.


Penne Pasta and Tomatoes Image - Masterfile

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)

8 ounces penne pasta

1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil

1 tablespoon pecan halves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup water

2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch squares

1/2 pound mushrooms, thickly sliced

1/2 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed


1. In large pot of boiling water, cook the garlic for 2 minutes to blanch. With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and when cool enough to handle, thinly sliver.

2. Bring the water back to a boil. Add the penne and cook according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the garlic, basil, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of the oil, the pecans, and salt, and process to a smooth puree. Add the water and process until creamy. Pour the dressing over the pasta, tossing to combine.

4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sugar snaps, and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar snaps are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

5. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the pasta. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 331
total fat 7.7g
saturated fat 1.9g
cholesterol 5mg
dietary fiber 7g
carbohydrate 53g
protein 14g
sodium 506mg
Good source of: beta carotene, folate, selenium, thiamin, vitamin C

Kitchen Tip

To “blanch” something is to immerse it in boiling water for a minute or so. The reasons for blanching food are many: It can be used to precook the food, set its color, or loosen the skin for peeling. Or, in the case of garlic, blanching is used to reduce its “bite” while preserving its essential pungent flavor.

If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe:Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at Healthcommunities.com

Published: 19 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 24 Mar 2015