Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

This is a recipe I came up with one night when I hadn't planned anything for dinner and I needed to make something quickly with ingredients I had on hand. We ate it for warm dinner and it was okay, but the next day when I ate some cold, I discovered that it was really good. The rest of the family agreed, and it became a staple in our refrigerator. It's great for lunch or dinner, or even a snack. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 pkg pasta 
  • 1 C sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1 C marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1/2 C basil pesto
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan
  • 1/4 C pine nuts
  • red pepper flakes

Start by cooking the pasta according to the directions on the package. It took me a while to learn to really salt my water when cooking pasta. It should taste like the ocean when it has enough salt in it. I know that sounds a little crazy, but it makes all the difference in the flavor. Cook it until it's al dente, drain and pour into a large serving bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, chop the sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. 

To the drained pasta, add the red wine vinegar and the pesto and stir until combined. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and pine nuts and stir to combine. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and mix. At this point, season to taste. i usually add about 1 TBL of red pepper flakes. Mix well, cover and refrigerate.

When you are ready to serve the pasta, stir it well and if it's a little dry, drizzle some of the olive oil over it and combine. Most of the time I don't need to add any oil, but every once in a while the pasta absorbs all the liquid and it needs just a little to loosen it up a bit. That's it!