Does your local grocery store have an olive bar? Our local grocery store has one, and it has become the perfect inspiration for an easy weeknight dish that can seem super elaborate! All you need is your favorite pasta, a green vegetable, some seafood (or chicken if you don't like seafood) and about 1/2 - 1 cup of some fun things from your olive bar.
You can pick and choose whatever items from the olive bar based on your family's tastes, but we usually head for some buffalo mozzarella, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and some mild peppers. Since most of the items in the olive bar have a marinade, the combination of items creates a heavenly sauce!
Olive Bar Seafood Pasta
1 pound pasta
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups of a green vegetable (we often use green beans, but broccoli, spinach, peas or whatever you family prefers will work)
1/2 -1 cup olive bar items (again, choose according to your family's tastes)
12 ounces seafood or chicken
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook 3-4 minutes. Add the green vegetable of your choice and saute until tender (for firmer or larger vegetables, you may want to add several tablespoons of water to help steam the vegetables), about 5-6 minutes.
Add the olive bar items to the skillet, omitting any cheese you might have chosen. Saute 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through, remove from heat and set aside.
Also while the pasta is cooking, preheat oven broiler. Drizzle the lemon juice over the seafood, and coat with breadcrumbs. Broil in you oven until the fish will flake when touched with a fork, about 5-9 minutes, depending on the thickness of the seafood. (If you are using chicken, bake the chicken at 350 degrees until no longer pink in the middle)
Drain the pasta.
In each serving bowl, place 1/6 the pasta, top with 1/6 the olive/vegetable mixture, and then 1/6 the seafood. Salt and pepper to taste.
An easy way to customize a meal to your family's tastes!