Everyone deserves a couple of recipes in their arsenal that gets them through the ‘brain dead days’ as I like to refer to them. Those days that are crazy busy, filled with stress, running around, or just plain lousy. The days you come home and say, “I don’t know what to make. I’m brain dead.” Yes, often these turn into Take Out or Delivery Pizza dinners nights.
But sometimes you don’t want to order pizza. And that’s when this recipe moves in and bails you out. I have relied on this recipe on those evenings when I’m alone, or when we both get home and realize that ordering a pizza will mean a good hour before we actually see it.
Well, this recipe takes a long as it takes to boil pasta. That’s it. I promise.
And the reason is, this is a no-cook ‘sauce’. If you want to call it a sauce. It’s really a quick chop of all our favourite jarred condiments. It’s a combo of sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, and parmesan cheese. Oh and some lemon and olive oil. And that’s it. What’s hard about that? Don’t tell me that somewhere in your fridge or on your pantry shelves all these items are hanging out, dying to be remembered and used?!
Okay, I lied. I forgot, you also need some fresh parsley. Ooooh, parsley, such an exotic ingredient! hehehe. So, you may need to run out and get some since you probably used the last little bit up for tabbouleh or something.
In the time it takes for your water to boil and the pasta to cook, all you have to do is throw everything into a mini-chopper or blender and give it a whir! Save some of the parsley for garnish, along with an extra grating of parmesan and lemon zest. And if you want to add some heat, I’m sure you have some red chili flakes in the spice cupboard, am I right?!
I hope you all like it, we really do. It’s great to have something to turn to that actually looks like a finished, fancy dish, instead of PB and J on toast for those ‘brain dead days’.
- 1/4 lb dried pasta
- 1 tbsp sun dried tomatoes, drained well
- 1 tbsp kalamata olives drained well
- 2 jarred artichoke hearts drained well
- 1 jarred roasted red pepper
- 1 garlic clove sliced
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 2-3 tbsp parsley
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- hot chilli flakes
Set water to boil for the pasta: prepare pasta as per instructions.
While the pasta is boiling, combine all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender.
Whir to a medium rough chop. Don't go too fine- you will lose the flavours, and it will get all muddy.
Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water to help the 'sauce' spread and cling to the pasta.
Place the pasta in a bowl and add the 'sauce'. Toss, adding water if necessary to help it out.
Garnish with extra parsley, parmesan cheese and more lemon zest if desired.
I give the ingredients for one. Maybe there's only one of you at home. Or maybe you're on your own for the eve. But obviously it is an easy transition to two, three or four, or more. Do the math!
This is one of those recipes that you can totally make your own. If you don't like one of the ingredients, just double up on one of the others. If you would like some heat, add crushed chili flakes.
Just don't worry about salt and pepper- not needed at all. They are in the jars!