Penne Franco
Inspired by Carrabba's Penne Franco
Serves 4

6-8 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 ounces + 4 ounces, separated (1/4 cup + 1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces (1 1/2 cup) mushrooms, sliced
7 ounces sun-dry tomatoes, minced
28 ounces (2 14-ounce cans) artichoke hearts, quartered
8 ounces (1 cup) kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
4 chicken breast, grilled, sliced (optional)
12-16 ounces Penne pasta
Cayenne Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley

Grill chicken, if you are using.

In a large pot, boil water. Once boiling, add penne and cook according to package directions. Cook 1 minute less than recommended time.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet add 1/4 cup of olive oil, heat on medium-high. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, saute until tender, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Add sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, grilled and sliced chicken, cooked penne pasta and remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Toss and heat through. Taste for seasoning, adjust if needed. Add cayenne pepper if you want a little kick.
Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.