This penne with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives recipe is fairly hands-off, simple, and delicious. And, of course, it’s just one serving!
It also allowed me to make some progress using the enormous jar of sun-dried tomatoes that’s been in the back of my fridge forever! Add some pasta, a bit of feta cheese, olives, and a few leaves of fresh basil, and you get a tasty lunch with only a few minutes of real work. (I have a basil plant growing in my window, so that basil was really fresh).
The feta was leftover from making a feta and spinach omelette, so it also helps toward my goal of not wasting anything. I just hate having a couple of tablespoons of sauce, or a few random bits of fruit or vegetables turning into a science experiment.
Now, on to more tasty mental pictures.
Since the tomatoes are dried, you’ll have to start by heating them and softening them up a bit. You can do this overnight (if you’re organized), or just start them a few minutes before you start boiling the water for the pasta.
Once the tomatoes are soaked and the pasta is cooked, the rest of the recipe takes only a few minutes to prepare. Just cook the garlic, toss the remaining ingredients in the saucepan you used to cook the penne and heat them up with the pasta.
Since the entire meal only uses one pot, it’s also easy to clean up afterwards. I don’t have a dishwasher, so easy cleanup is good!
Penne with Feta Cheese and Sun-dried Tomatoes for One
Penne with Feta Cheese and Sun-dried Tomatoes for One Person
3 sun-dried tomatoes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1T olive oil
1T feta cheese, crumbled
1C dried penne pasta
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh basil
2-3 castravelano olives (pitted), optional
Soak the tomatoes in hot water for 20 minutes, until softened. Once they are pliable, cut them into small pieces.
Boil water in a medium saucepan and cook the pasta about 8 minutes, until al dente.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving about 1/4 C of the pasta water.
Add oil to the saucepan, cook garlic on low 1-2 minutes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes, pasta, cheese, salt, pepper, and olives (if using) back to the pot.
Add the reserved pasta water.
Stir to combine and heat through, for 1-2 minutes.
Pour into a serving bowl.
Top with fresh basil leaves.
Substitutions and Variations for Penne with Feta Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Olives
- add a handful of fresh spinach (maybe half a cup of torn leaves) at the end, after you drain the pasta; cooking it just a minute or two until it wilts
- put in some leftover cooked chicken, this makes it more substantial and suitable for dinner
- add some cooked mushrooms (if you have dried mushrooms, throw them in the hot water when you’re rehydrating the sun-dried tomatoes)
Ingredients and Tools for This Recipe
Roland Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The nice thing about sun-dried tomatoes is that they do last a long time (if you happen to have bought a giant jar because the price was great). In addition to pasta, you can toss them on pizza, mix them in with eggs, add them to pesto, or put them in meatloaf.
Whole Castelvetrano Olives
My mom only eats black olives and my dad only likes green ones. I never really liked olives of any kind that much until I tried these. They were set out as a bar snack (of all things). They are bright green, mild, and don’t taste sour or briny like most olives do. They’re great with this pasta dish, and also marinated in olive oil with slivers of garlic and rosemary (which is how the bar served them). Delicious and great for a wine and cheese cocktail hour (either just for you or for company).
More Single Serving Recipes with Pasta or Feta Cheese
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Feta Cheese
Summer Pasta with Green Olives and Feta Cheese
Pistachio Pesto Pasta Recipe (a chance to use more fresh basil)