This is an amazing light side dish that goes with a lot of different main courses, like the Stuffed Chicken Florentine, shown here. The tomatoes taste fresh, and the flavors all blend together to give it a very complex flavor. This addition of the lemon juice brightens up all of the flavors.
If you've read many of my recipes, you'll notice that it's extremely rare for me to be using Olive Oil. I feel it adds a flavor that I don't want to have in most of my dishes. In this case, it's the perfect thing to use.
Although I served this as a side to my Stuffed Chicken Florentine, it would be equally as good for a light lunch with a couple of slices of Garlic Bread on the side, and maybe a small salad.
- 1/3 Pound Mini, Shell Pasta
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
- 1 Pint Grape Tomatoes, halved, lengthwise
- 1/2 Medium Onion
- 12 Large Kalamata Olives, quartered lengthwise
- 6 Ounces Small Capers
- Zest of 1 Large Lemon
- 3 Large Cloves of Garlic, sliced
- 1 Tablespoon Butt Kickin' Spice Blends, Italian Seasoning
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed, for cooking
- Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese, shaved, for garnish
1. Cook the Pasta Shells in salted water until just barely al dente'. Drain and place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain again, and drizzle about 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top, and stir. The olive oil will keep the pasta as separate pieces when they're cold.
2. I prepped everything about an hour ahead of time. Slice the onion lengthwise and place in a bowl.
Start a second bowl for everything else. Slice the small tomatoes, and place them in the new bowl.
3. Slice the olives into fourths, lengthwise, and place them in the bowl along with the capers and lemon zest.
Peel, then slice the garlic into thin rounds, but keep them separate from everything else.
4. Begin cooking about 10 minutes before service, in a Teflon fry pan with a little Olive Oil, over high heat. Start with the onions. When they're just starting to get soft. Add the garlic slices, and cook for another minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes are warm and just barely begin to give up the liquid.
Add the cold pasta and flip, or stir to combine everything. Cook just until the pasta has warmed up. Take it off the heat, add the lemon juice, and serve. When served, shave the parmesan cheese on top.
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