a penne for my thoughts

. . . and my dinner! Not just penne pasta, let’s add crisp pancetta, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, parmesan and something of a garlic miracle—a spread fresh from my local Farmers Market, known as Zuhk. This homemade dip was on display at one of the local vendors, Hanis Market, and once I sampled, I new great things were to come from this Mediterranean garlic delight! Tonight’s pasta now has a new ingredient, and I’m thoroughly excited.

What is this curious spread you ask? It is 100% raw, vegan and naturally delicious! I went with their regular garlic spread topped with their classic family zuhk recipe. So, what the heck is it? The base is a pure blend of raw garlic and olive oil and it’s topped with zuhk—a combination of olive oil, parsley and Serrano peppers. A spoon full of this added to a warm pasta dish, and you can throw the dry seasonings & garlic clove chopping right out the window! This little versatile spread is packed with flavor and fresh ingredients. So, go ahead and save those garlic cloves for another day; this time you’ll just need a spoon and an appetite:

Hanis Market is a local company specializing in Mediterranean spreads & catering, and is located in East County, San Diego. They make regular weekly appearances at several SD Farmers Markets, where you can sample and buy some of their delicious, garlic-inspired spreads. I love simple and wholesome ingredients and those really shine through in their products. I went with the regular zuhk topped garlic spread, but there exist other versions—spicy (which packs a red pepper punch), one topped with fresh sweet beets, and one topped with roasted red peppers. The regular zuhk blend packs a slight kick due to the freshly puréed Serrano chilies, which adds just the right flavor. I could eat this spread with veggies, chips, salmon, make a salad dressing, but in my kitchen tonight it was destined for pasta, and so it’s time for a pancetta & penne zuhk-out… I’m glad I made more than I thought we’d eat, because this one went quickly. . . .

5 from 1 reviews
Penne with Garlic & Pancetta
Mediterranean inspired penne pasta dish, with pancetta, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes & delicious garlic spread!
Serves: pot of perfect pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 1 box Penne Rigate pasta
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 jar sun dried tomatoes in oil (Julienne cut if possible)
  • Italian Parmesan cheese blend (shredded)
  • 5 thin slices of pancetta, chopped for crisping
  • 1 tub Hanis Market garlic spread (original Zuhk)
  • 1 lemon for zesting
  • S & P
  • 4 T white wine
What to do:
  1. Drain can of artichoke hearts & quarter.
  2. Roughly chop ~1/4 cup of the sun dried tomatoes, do not rinse oil.
  3. Chop pancetta and crisp in a non-stick skillet, then set aside to drain.
  4. Using pancetta pan, heat artichoke hearts & sundried tomatoes.
  5. Add to the pan about 4 T white wine, kosher salt & black pepper (to taste).
  6. In a separate pot, liberally salt water for boiling pasta & cook penne until al dente, drain (reserving a tablespoon of starchy pasta water).
  7. Off the heat, add warm pasta back & 1T of cooking water back into the pot.
  8. Add artichoke mix, and ¾ of the crisped pancetta, combining and returning to low heat.
  9. To pot add 3 tsp lemon zest, 5T shredded cheese, and 2T Zuhk Garlic Spread, mixing well.
  10. Add additional salt & pepper to taste & remaining pancetta on top as garnish to each served dish.
This is excellent and easy! The lemon zest pairs perectly with the sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. The pancetta gives some salty texture and the garlic spread is all you need by way of flavoring!

Check out Hanis’ other products and offerings at www.hanismarket.com, at their store in El Cajon, or at a SD farmers market. They’re a family owned & operated business, and happy to answer any questions you have and give you a sample.  Trying will mean liking & my guess is you’ll then be buying like I did. I’m looking forward to new recipes using this flavorful & healthy garlic spread. While we’re on the topic, stay tuned for tomorrow’s garlic feature and my guest blog post on YTF!

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Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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