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Aegean Artichoke & Penne Pasta Salad



6 fresh baby artichokes
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic -- minced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh basil -- or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup fresh tomato -- chopped
1/2 cup olives -- Kalamata
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup feta cheese -- optional


1. Cut stems off artichokes. Peel off tough outer leaves to reveal yellow-green hearts. Cut artichokes into quarters. Combine 1/4 cup lemon juice with 2 cups water in a medium bowl. Add artichokes to lemon water and toss to prevent discoloration. Drain. Steam artichokes until tender, about 20 minutes. chill.
2. In a large pot, bring 2 quarts water to a rapid boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and penne. Cook penne until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
3. To make salad dressing: combine tomato juice, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, basil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and puree for 30 seconds.
4. Toss together artichokes, penne, capers, olives and feta cheese in a large bowl salad bowl. Pour dressing over and toss well.













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