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Ziti with Fresh Tomato-Olive Sauce

8 oz Ziti or mostaccioli pasta

2 tb Olive oil

2 tb Balsamic vinegar

4 Cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c Thinly sliced fresh basil

1/2 c Pitted kalamata olives -OR-

4 oz Cn sliced & pitted black

-Olives, drained 1 ts Drained capers, optional

1/2 ts Crushed red pepper flakes

4 lg Tomatoes, halved crosswise

4 oz Goat cheese crumbled or

1/4 c Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper to taste Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile in a large serving bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, olives, capers and red pepper flakes. Place a strainer over the serving bowl; squeeze the juice from the tomato halves into strainer. (Push on seeds with back of a wooden spoon to extract tomato liquid.) Discard the seeds. Coarsely chop tomatoes and add to olive mixture; toss well. Drain pasta and add to the bowl; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. -----

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