The summer potluck season is here! One of the challenges of preparing a dish to share with a group is food sensitivities or preferences.
Some of your gathering may be vegetarian, or gluten-free, or dairy-free, or all three. Pasta is pretty easy to do gluten-free, there are many gluten-free brands available that are pretty good (we've been using Bionaturae lately).
But if you're going dairy-free, what about the Parm? To me pasta without Parmesan, or some other nutty cheese, is just missing something. So, following a tip from Sunset Magazine, I used chopped toasted almonds instead. You still get that nutty richness from the almonds, and lots of flavor.
One of the things I have found using gluten-free pasta is that it doesn't do as well cold, as wheat pasta. I made the dish both ways, using gluten-free and regular pasta. Both were great warm and freshly made.
The regular pasta version was also good cold and reheated. The gluten-free version got a little stiff when chilled, and never fully recovered when reheated.
I love this pasta dish as a basis for experimentation. The original idea came from a farfalle roasted pepper recipe in Sunset. I could also see tossing in fresh sliced basil or strips of grilled chicken.
Pasta with Artichoke Hearts, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Toasted Almonds
- 1 pound fusilli pasta (use gluten-free pasta for gluten-free version)
- 1 14-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, hearts cut into eighths, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, removed from oil (reserve oil), chopped
- 1 cup chopped toasted almonds
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, loosely packed, more or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cook the pasta, al dente:
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a vigorous boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and let cook, uncovered, at a full boil, for the amount of time specified on the pasta package, minus about 2 minutes. Test, the pasta should be cooked through, but still firm to the bite, al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, prep the other ingredients.
Place the cut marinated artichoke hearts, the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, the toasted almonds, and lemon zest in a large bowl
Drain pasta, add to artichoke hearts:
When the pasta is done, drain it, and add the pasta into the bowl with the artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss gently to mix.
Season with lemon juice, pepper, parsley, oil:
Sprinkle lemon juice, parsley, and black pepper over the pasta, toss to mix.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil to the pasta, and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to mix. Taste and adjust seasonings.
At this point you can make ahead and reheat to serve.