I am definitely in a pasta kind of mood these days. There is just something about a nice pasta dish that can be served hot or cold that beckons to me when the temperature and the season start to heat up.
Yesterday we spent the day being punished by the Disney Gods. They lure you to their "resort", beat you over the head with their sadistic, outrageously loud music, characters and rides. Then, for the final insult, they chuck you on a tram and dump you in a parking garage with little chance of locating your car.
My favorite part of the day, however, was the moment when I was admonished by a hyper-vigilant "cast member" wearing canvas overalls with screen-printed ants on them, for changing my son's clothes. She stood next to me, never making eye contact and informed me that, "morally, it would be much better for the child if I did not change his clothes around other people."
Yup, that kid really looks like he is in danger of being morally compromised. I am not sure how much they pay adults to wander around, dictating morals while wearing canvas overalls with little ants screen-printed all over them, but I am sure it isn't enough. It certainly is not enough for her to be telling me about morality, not when she is employed by the likes of the House of Mouse. Not by a long shot, Missy. I will get my morals from ANY other source, not from you, thankyouverymuch!
Luckily, Mr. Smith was able to talk me down before I slapped her.
But, I digress. Back to the recipe for today.
I am completely on an artichoke heart kick right now, so my apologies if you are not feeling the artichoke love.
I wanted to make dinner, but really was completely fried for the experience of going to the House of Mouse with two children under four. It was the equivalent of working a trade show floor for a full week, pain-wise.
Here is what I threw together last night:
12 oz. box of Rotini (you know, those little corkscrew-looking things. I like to use the fortified or whole wheat, tastes the same, but gives you a little something extra in your pasta)
1 bunch of broccoli
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 dozen sweet grape tomatoes, cut in half
finely diced pepperoncini peppers (to taste, depending on how spicy you are feeling)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
1 clove of garlic finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Please, please, please don't overcook the pasta. It will make me sad if you eat mushy noodles. There is no greater cooking crime, so please don't be a noodle hater.
While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, get to choppin' broccoli and draining the artichoke hearts, cutting up tomatoes, etc.
When pasta is about half cooked, I throw the broccoli in the cook with the noodles (saves on clean up and time).
Now you need to mix up the "sauce." Get a nice pasta bowl, add the olive oil, parmesan, chopped peppers, garlic, salt and pepper and tomatoes. Mix well.
Drain the pasta and broccoli when cooked.
Add the pasta and broccoli to the sauce mixture and toss well.
Go ahead and stuff your little face. You will be so happy you did! Feel free to add the vegetables you like. It is Spring, so there are plenty of great options available to you now.
I served this pasta dish with these breadsticks (that are to die for!). I threw 2 teaspoons of dry Italian Seasoning and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder in the dough. Just lovely for the starch loving heart!
Go forth and cook some pasta, people!