This is another one of my favorite "go to" simple meals. I threw this together for the first time over 10 years ago and it's been a constant ever since. It's hearty and rustic and is also great for a quickie vegetarian dish or during Lent. I've served this on Holidays as well. Goes great with a nice dinner salad and of course, a loaf of hot, crusty garlic bread! Oh, and a nice glass of Chianti for those who are interested.
- 1 (8 ounce) package mushrooms (pre-sliced fresh mushrooms)
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes (drained very well)
- 1 (3 7/8 ounce) can olives (sliced olives in can, drained)
- 1 (24 ounce) jar vodka sauce (Bertolli brand preferred)
- 1 (1 lb) box penne (al dente, I use Barilla brand)
- 1 (8 ounce) container fresh mozzarella cheese (The Pearlini fresh mozzarella balls, they are pea size, see photos)
- 1 dash garlic powder (to taste)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Boil water and cook penne. Also heat vodka sauce in medium sauce pot.
- Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms over medium-low heat in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until lightly golden brown then set aside.
- Drain tomatoes very well then sauté in remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic powder to taste over medium heat until heated well through and remaining water cooks out, drain again in colander; set aside.
- When pasta is cooked, drain well and return to pot. Add sauce, mushrooms and tomatoes, gently stir in olives and fresh mozzarella pearlini.
- Transfer to large serving bowl and serve immediately.
- ** Serve with grated parmesan cheese on hand AT TABLE, but not directly on pasta dish as it alters the final taste and it's just so delicious that it really doesn't need it.