Reinventing Leftovers: Sicilian Artichoke-Olive Penne with Pulled Pork

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, tonight’s dinner is a straight up leftover redo. I had about 3/4 of a pound of leftover pulled pork taking up a space and some rogue canned goods and pantry staples to employ, so the following concoction was born…

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Ingredients:

3/4 lbs of pulled pork
1/2 box of penne pasta
I jar of sicilian artichoke sauce
I can quarter artichokes
1 can of sliced black olives
Parmasan cheese (to sprinkle)
Chives (optional garnish)
Red Pepper flakes (optional added heat)

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To prepare, I used a one pot method. I selected a medium saucepan with a tight fitting glass lid. This will help expedite dinner and keep the temperature consistently hot.  Then I poured in the full jar of sauce and 1/2 a box of uncooked penne. Since I am cooking dinner by slowly simmering everything together, I also added a jarful of water to get the last bits of sauce out and to provide enough moisture to cook the pasta. When you make pasta this way, it takes longer to cook; however,  the pasta absorbs the liquid and flavor from the sauce itself, adding depth to the dish. To finish off I also added the artichokes and olives (strained of course) plus the pulled pork. Truthfully you could make this without meat, but I am trying to use things up!

Once everything was combined, I slapped the lid on, and placed over medium low heat. The pasta directions gave an estimate of 10-11 minutes, but as everything was cold or room temperature to start, I set the timer for 20 minutes for the first check. When the timer went off, I stirred and tested a piece of pasta. It was still crunchy,  so I reset the timer for 20 minutes and replaced the lid.

To serve, I plated in a glass bowl and sprinkled cheese and chives over the top. You could also add red pepper flakes for some additional heat (and color!), but I did not.

The end result was mildly spicy,  and blended well with the ingredients,  yet allowed individual flavors of the artichokes,  olives,  and pork to come through. Delish!

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