Penne Niçoise (Vegetarian Times)

The following description is printed in the recipe:
“All the vibrant tastes of traditional French Niçoise salad are here in a fish-free vegetarian version. The Kalamata olives make a tangy substitute for salty anchovies." Vibrant and tangy. Advertiser words I’ve never used in conversation, and you haven’t either.

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths (about 4 cups)
1 pound red skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 pound ripe plum tomatoes chopped (about 3 cups)
1 can (28 ounces) Italian-style peeled tomatoes, and most of the juice

20 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to the boil. Add green beans, potatoes, and salt and return to the boil. When water boils, add pasta stirring to prevent sticking. Cook until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally, about 11 min.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 min. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes and olives.
  3. Before draining the pasta, scoop out a half cup of pasta water and reserve. Drain pasta, beans, and potatoes and transfers to serving bowl. Add tomato mixture, vinegar and pepper; toss to mix. If pasta seems too dry, add some reserved pasta water, a little at a time.

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