It’s another crazy Tuesday night! Crazy nights call for quick meals, but that doesn’t mean that you have to resort to Hamburger Helper or a drive-thru. Even on our craziest days, I like to try to have a home cooked meal on the table. Does it always happen? No way. But, it’s nice when it can. Plus, after running around like a crazed soccer-Mom (minus the children actually involved in soccer), cooking dinner tends to calm me down. I know. I’m weird like that.
I found tonight’s recipe in a big, overstuffed, blue binder that I put together years ago. It’s full of recipes I found in magazines and online. When we first got married, and I didn’t have the borderline-obnoxious cookbook collection I do now, I used this binder all the time. It sat on a shelf for a while, though, and I just pulled it out this week to take another look. There’s a lot of good stuff in there! I’m sure this won’t be the last thing you see from it.
This Penne with Artichokes recipe comes from the now defunct Gourmet Magazine. It was a beautiful magazine, but stopped publication in 2009. They now have an amazing website (and an app!) where you can find all kinds of good stuff. Check out the link here .
I started with a box of frozen artichoke hearts. You could use canned artichoke hearts in a pinch, but if you can find the frozen kind, try those. There is nothing wrong with a canned artichoke, but frozen artichokes taste much more fresh, in my humble, artichoke loving opinion.
The artichokes will cook in some water and lemon juice for a few minutes. Save the cooking water! The water will actually be the saucy part of your sauce, believe it or not!
After browning up some garlic, you’ll add the cooked artichoke hearts and some sun-dried tomatoes.
After a minute or two more, you’ll add some parsley, the lemon-artichoke water and some red pepper flakes. The original recipe called for one teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I like things spicy, but that sounded awfully spicy to me…plus, I had to feed my kids. I added about 1/2 a teaspoon, if that.
While the sauce is coming together and your pasta is boiling away, you’ll toast up some breadcrumbs and garlic in a little bit of olive oil. The recipe called for fresh breadcrumbs. I don’t have time to make fresh breadcrumbs on a Tuesday night! I did, however, use Panko breadcrumbs instead. Panko breadcrumbs are a little bigger and have a bit more substance to them than regular breadcrumbs. Think about the crunchy stuff they sprinkle on your sushi at the sushi bar. This will now become the crunchy stuff you sprinkle on your pasta!
Once the breadcrumbs are toasted up, you’re done! Just pour the sauce over your cooked pasta (You’ll notice I used bow ties and penne. It was time to clean out the pantry!) and sprinkle some of the breadcrumbs and some grated parmesan on top. I served grilled chicken with it, but you could go without if you’re looking for a vegetarian option.
From start to finish, I was in the kitchen less than 30 minutes. It may not have been as fast as hitting the drive-thru, but it was light enough that I didn’t feel too badly about sneaking a piece or two of the girls’ Halloween candy afterwards!
PENNE WITH ARTICHOKES AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
- 1 package frozen artichoke hearts
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp. garlic, minced, divided
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, drained and sliced
- 1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs or Panko
- 12 oz. penne pasta, cooked and drained
- 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
- Combine the water and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Add the frozen artichokes and cook for 5 minutes, over medium heat, until tender. Drain the artichokes and SAVE THE WATER! If the artichokes are whole, quarter them.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 3 Tbsp. minced garlic and cook until golden, just a minute or so. Reduce heat to low. Add the artichokes and tomatoes, simmer one minute. Stir in the artichoke liquid, red pepper flakes, parsley and salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add the garlic and the breadcrumbs, stirring until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted.
- Pour the artichoke sauce over cooked penne and gently toss. Sprinkle with the crumb mixture and grated parmesan cheese.