Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Simple Roasted Grape Tomato and Artichoke Heart Pasta

This past week held some unexpected hiccups for me. I had planned on sharing another recipe with you soon after my last post, but my chronic klutziness decided that it didn't like that plan. I was walking into the living room carrying my open laptop, when suddenly I felt my foot catch on a cord and I tumbled forward. As cliche as it sounds, I really did feel like I was in slow motion as I tried in vain to keep my computer from crashing onto the hard floor. Not able to react in time, I ended up with a broken computer and a few unpleasant bruises. Bruises fade, but unfortunately, a MacBook does not possess the same power of healing. I honestly thought that poor Johnathan was done for (Yes, I named my computer. I know. I'm weird.). Luckily, the apple store was able to come to the rescue (for free!) but I went a week without a computer. It wasn't really that bad and was actually quite nice to be free of my technology tether, but it did disrupt my plans a bit.

Plus it rained all week. Which I declared "icky" because I'm a four year-old at heart.

So after that long and boring preamble it's time to get to what really matters: food!

This is one of my absolute favorite dinners. My original inspiration was this recipe from How Sweet It Is. It's quick and easy, which is important when the semester (or life) gets a little crazy. I eat variations of this probably at least once a week.

This particular night I was craving some of this pasta for dinner, and being the college student that I am, I headed to one of the build-your-own-salad places on campus to buy my ingredients using my meal plan. I picked up grape tomatoes and some red onions and baby spinach, and then my eyes fell on a bowl of artichoke hearts between the grated carrots and dried cranberries. I know that some people aren’t big fans of artichoke hearts, particularly the kind typically found at salad bars, but I was excited. I decided to try roasting them with the tomatoes for my pasta, and I’ve got to say that I’m glad I did. This ended up being one of my favorite versions of this pasta I’ve made in a while. This recipe yields one generous serving that is a perfect full dinner for a night dining alone and can easily be scaled up for a group.

Roasted Grape Tomato and Artichoke Heart Pasta


  • 1 chicken Italian sausage
  • 2 oz. dried fettuccine or linguine 
  • 3/4 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • A few handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Toss the tomatoes and artichoke hearts in a bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until the tomatoes burst.
  • While the veggies are in the oven, boil the water for the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package
  • In a small frying pan add remaining teaspoon olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms and saute until almost soft. 
  • Add the sausage to the frying pan. I just squeezed it out of the casing and broke it up with a wooden spoon, but if you feel squeamish about the raw sausage, but cut open the casing with a knife and cut it before adding to the pan. Heat until sausage is cooked through and onions and mushrooms are soft.
  • Add drained pasta, baby spinach, and roasted veggies to the pan. Saute until the spinach is just wilted. Dump entire dish onto your plate and enjoy!
The juice that bursts out of the roasted tomatoes and the olive oil creates its own sauce, but sometimes I add some anyway, like the Quick Yogurt Tomato Sauce that I ended up using on this particular batch of pasta.


This next picture is a variation on the same pasta that I made for my mother last week. I made it with rotini and without the artichoke hearts and it was equally delicious and was  perfect quick dinner for before my Mom had to run to her dance class.

I hope you enjoy this dish and make it soon. Let me know if you make any adjustments and how they turn out!

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