March 25, 2023
Chris Hardy -- Fresh ingredients, pasta and family make a special meal.

When you are tired of eating the same food and crave a filling and delicious home-cooked meal, preparing your favorite dish is a great way to satisfy the craving of home. When I get into this mode, I opt to make my favorite pasta dish. It is easy, inexpensive and done in no time.

This recipe is my favorite for two reasons: it reminds me of fun times with my family and friends and eating pasta is not an option at any other time (due to my gluten allergy), unless it’s gluten free, which is rare to find anywhere other than home. Needless to say, making this dish is near and dear to my heart and is always a treat.

One Christmas, my mother gave me a cookbook and I found a delicious pasta recipe. Of course, it was not gluten-free, so I made adjustments by swapping the pasta for gluten-free pasta. It was as easy as that. I hope you enjoy making this dish.

Penne with sausage, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes

3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (reserve 2 tbs. of its oil for later)

1 pound Italian hot sausages, casings removed

2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 3/4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

12 ounces of penne pasta (if you wish to try gluten-free, use brown rice penne pasta from Trader Joe’s)

1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1/3 cup chopped basil

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed (optional)

In a large frying pan, pour in the 2 tablespoons of oil from the sun dried tomatoes and add the sausage and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Once the sausage is cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the garlic and artichoke hearts and cook until garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and chicken broth. Raise to medium-high heat and let simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the chicken broth and sun-dried tomatoes simmer, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then add the pasta. When cooked, about 10 minutes, drain but do not rinse the pasta. Add pasta to the pan with sun-dried tomatoes pan and stir. Toss until the sauce is almost all absorbed by the pasta. Add the fresh mozzarella, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

When enjoying this dish, make it special by serving it in a beautiful bowl, or set the table. These extra steps are a great way to add to any meal that is your favorite. Make it about the experience and the food will taste even better. Bon appetit!

(Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis)

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