START TO FINISH: 35 minutes MAKES 4 servings
4 quarts water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 ounces dried whole grain penne
12 ounces fresh green beans or 3 cups frozen whole green beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large red and/or yellow sweet peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size strips
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1⁄4 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and cut into 1⁄4 -inch slices
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil, Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, and/or oregano
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
1 Cook pasta and, if using, fresh beans in boiling water with the 1 tablespoon kosher salt according to package directions. Or add frozen green beans (if using) to water with pasta during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Using a ladle, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water; set aside. Drain pasta and beans. Return pasta mixture to hot pan; cover and keep warm.
2 Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pepper strips; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic; cook for 30 seconds more. Add the dried tomatoes, basil, and drained pasta mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. Stir in balsamic vinegar and enough of the reserved 1 cup pasta cooking water to moisten pasta mixture to desired consistency. Season to taste with additional kosher salt and black pepper.
3 To serve, top with cheese cubes. If desired, garnish with additional fresh basil.
PER SERVING: 348 cal., 9 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 11 mg chol., 501 mg sodium, 54 g carb., 9 g fiber, 16 g pro.
make it vegan
Substitute mozzarella-flavor soy cheese for the mozzarella cheese.
Save on cleanup time by cooking vegetables in the same pot as the pasta. This works best for quick-cooking vegetables, such as green beans and pea pods. Add them to the cooking water the last few minutes of cooking the pasta.