Penne with Tomatoes, Artichokes & Black Olives

I lay strips of prosciutto atop this pasta just before serving. It's a trick that cooks use with prosciutto on pizza to protect the delicate flavor and texture of the ham. The heat of the pasta just warms it up.

Ingredients
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 13-3/4- or 14-ounce can artichoke bottoms (or hearts), drained, rinsed, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 15-1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound dried penne rigate
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto (preferably imported), cut into thin strips (about 3/4 cup)
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Directions
1. 
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
2. 
Heat the oil and garlic in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes fragrant and starts to brown all over, about 4 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high, add the artichokes and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the artichokes start to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the olives and season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
3. 
Meanwhile, cook the penne in the boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until it's just tender to the tooth (see the package for cooking time). Drain and return the pasta to its cooking pot. Add the sauce and about half the Parmigiano. Cook over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing and stirring, to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. 
Serve immediately, scattering the prosciutto and remaining Parmigiano over each serving.
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