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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Olives

This delicious pasta dish makes for a delicious light dinner or a healthy packed lunch. Tomatoes and red peppers are rich in the antioxidant lycopene. According to the American Cancer Society (, people who have diets rich in tomatoes, which are the most concentrated food source of lycopene, appear in some studies to have a lower risk of certain types of cancer, especially cancers of the prostate, lung, and stomach. Studies that looked at lycopene levels in the blood found that levels were higher after people ate cooked tomatoes than after they ate raw tomatoes or drank tomato juice. 

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 red pepper, quartered, deseeded and cored
3tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
500g/1lb 2oz tomatoes, skinned (optional), roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1tsp sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper
250gr/9oz dried penne pasta
2tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
75g/3oz stoned black and green olives (cut in halves)
grated Parmesan and basil leaves, to garnish


Put red pepper on a baking sheet, brush with oil then grill for 10min until skins are blackened. Put into a plastic bag and leave for 5min.

Heat 1tbsp oil in a frying pan, add onion and fry for 5min until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, garlic, sugar and seasoning.

Cover and simmer for 10min. Stir occasionally.

Cook pasta for 8-10min in boiling water. Drain, toss with remaining oil.

Stir tomato paste into tomato sauce, add pasta and olives. Skin, slice and add red pepper then toss together. Spoon into dishes and garnish with Parmesan and basil.

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