Aegean Artichoke & Penne Pasta Salad

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6 fresh baby artichokes

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 pound penne pasta

1/2 cup tomato juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of one lemon

2 cloves garlic -- minced

3 tablespoons fresh parsley

3 tablespoons fresh basil -- or 1 tsp. dried

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup fresh tomato -- chopped

1/2 cup olives -- Kalamata

2 tablespoons capers

1/2 cup feta cheese -- optional

Cut stems off artichokes. Peel off tough outer leaves to reveal yellow-green hearts. Cut artichokes into quarters.

Combine 1/4 cup lemon juice with 2 cups water in a medium bowl. Add artichokes to lemon water and toss to prevent discoloration. Drain.

Steam artichokes until tender, about 20 minutes. chill.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 2 quarts water to a rapid boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and penne. Cook penne until al dente, about 10 minutes.

Drain and rinse with cold water.

While pasta is cooking, make salad dressing: combine tomato juice, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, basil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and puree for 30 seconds.

Toss together artichokes, penne, capers, olives and feta cheese in a large bowl salad bowl. Pour dressing over and toss well.

 

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