Monday, October 8, 2012

Mediterranean Vegetable, White Bean and Feta Penne

 There may be no scarier word to us Carnivores than Meatless.  No meat?  Surely I will starve!

And while I don't think I'll ever be a Vegetarian, lately two or three meatless meals a week have been suiting us just fine.  I think a break from meat every now and then is good for the body, not to mention the wallet.  The trick is to find recipes that are hearty and flavorful enough, that meat is not even missed.  And as long as I just don't mention the fact that it is meatless to my husband, I can usually get away with it.  Shhhhh.

I really enjoyed this dish.  Initially I wasn't sure about the pasta/bean combo, but it really works.  The pasta is filling, while the beans add hearty flavor and creaminess.  A sprinkling of tangy feta on top and you have a plate of comforting goodness.

I noticed the day after that the flavors of the dressing had greatly subdued.  A few tablespoons of Italian Dressing and this also turned out to be a delicious cold lunch.
Mediterranean Vegetable, White Bean and Feta Penne
The Best of Clean Eating 2

Ingredients

6 oz whole-grain penne pasta
1 cup cooked white beans of your choice
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp extra extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium zucchini, cut into eighths lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips, then cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese

Directions

1.  Cook penne according to package directions, adding beans during the last minute of cooking.

2.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, vinegar, basil, pepper flakes, and salt; set aside.

3.  Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, tilting skillet to coat bottom lightly.  Add zucchini and bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes, or until edges begin to brown, stirring frequently.  Add remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook for 15 seconds, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, stir in tomato mixture and drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp oil.  Cover to keep warm.

4.  Drain penne-bean mixture, place in a serving bowl, sprinkle evenly with rosemary and all but 1/4 cup feta.  Spoon zucchini mixture over top and finish with remaining feta.

Per 1 1/2 cup Serving:  353 cal, 12g fat, 44g carbs, 11g fiber, 6g sugar, 18g protein.

15 comments:

Kathleen said...

This looks ahhhmazing!!!

Kim said...

Anytime beans are involved I'm always good with skipping the meat (sometimes I actually prefer it that way). Love all the goodies in this pasta. Looks delicious!

Debbie said...

I think meatless dishes are sometimes better than a meal that contains meat. This looks delicious and I love the pasta and bean combo!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

great recipe and we also have a few veggie meals :-)

Taste and Tell said...

We typically eat meat free a few times a week - and as much as I love meat, I love those meat free days! This sounds delicious and filling.

Joanne said...

Well you know I'm a fan of meatless eating :P I LOVE this pasta dish! It's filled with so many great veggies and flavors.

Angie's Recipes said...

A simple yet delectable pasta dish.

Pam said...

Now this is my kind of pasta! It looks fantastic.

Judy said...

A few meatless meals a week makes good sense, and this is a great recipe.

Chris said...

No meat? That's insanity! (Just kidding)

This makes me bummed that I don't have feta because I'd like this for an easy dinner.

Reeni Pisano said...

I wouldn't miss the meat at all! This is flavor packed with all my favorites!

Blond Duck said...

I can do meatless as long as eggs or beans or involved. But I always want meat.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I try to make a few meatless meals a week too. The beans are hearty enough to make this a good meal. Great recipe!

JG said...

With the green pepper, tomatoes, zucchini + feta cheese, this would be delicious!
~Judy

Aggie said...

I went mostly meatless a few years ago & it just kind of evolved into a family thing, I don't talk about & no one misses it. Though my hubby will crave a steak now & then (deservingly so :) )...with means it is so easy to skip the meat! I love this pasta dish, I could gobble it up!