I didn't feel like cooking today. I know I have a Menu Plan, but that is what it is... a plan and not a command.
I just wasn't feeling it! And I really don't care for take-out.

Today was "errand day" and I was all over the county and the mall. UGH! I so dislike the mall. I feel like it sucks the life out of me, so by the time I am done at the mall I am exhausted.

As a little reward to look forward to my last stop was HomeGoods. That perked me up a little.

I LOVE the gourmet food section at HomeGoods! While looking at the pink Himalayan salt and the Spanish olive oil, I was struck with an idea for a post and dinner!

It is amazing what you can find to whip together in the gourmet section of those "discount" stores! Today I found a big bag of festoni for $3.99. Wider than fettuccine with beautiful ruffled edges, this pasta was dried in little bundles that looked like nests. I used just half the bag and had enough for 4 servings. Quite a bargain... a very delicious and beautiful bargain.



I also picked up a jar of Artichoke Pesto.  I always have a small collection in my pantry of tasty jarred gourmet concocions.



Using half of a bag of frozen artichokes, a handful of cherry and grape tomatoes from my garden along with some basil, here is what I threw together. This dinner took as long to prepare as it took the pasta to cook... under 30 minutes!


Pasta With Artichoke Pesto and Tomatoes
1/2 large bag of Festoni or other gourmet pasta
1 jar of Artichoke pesto
1/2 bag frozen artichokes
12-15 small tomatoes
olive oil
kosher salt
basil, chopped
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Kalamata olives (didn't have any, but if I did they would be delicious in this)
Add-in's (I had some grilled onions and red peppers in the frig and used them)

Cook pasta according to instructions and drain.

Meanwhile, put 1 TBS olive oil in a small skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add artichokes and cook until slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until the they burst and deflate a little, about 5-7 minutes.

When pasta is done put it in a large bowl. Add the jar of Artichoke Pesto and mix. Add artichokes and tomatoes. Mix. If needed add a little more olive oil or a little pasta water. Add cheese or other add-in's and mix. 

Plate. Sprinkle with chopped basil.


Use this recipe as a formula to make a no fuss meal. Add some crusty bread and you have a meal for a crowd!


Keeping great ingredients on hand to pull out when you don't feel like making a big involved dinner or when you just don't know what to cook is just plain smart!!!!

Putting a great meal on the table in under 30 minutes (more like 20) that is economical, delicious, beautiful and good for you is a much better alternative than take-out or fast food! 

Shop the gourmet aisle of your favorite discount store and bring home dinner!




I am participating in:
~FOODIE FRIDAY at Designs By Gollum


 
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