I was stuck deep in a cooking rut this week. Every recipe I thought of seemed like either too much work or too boring. I was looking for just the opposite: something that was easy and different than the other things I was making. Luckily, I came across this: A Mediterranean Back-Pocket Pasta on the blog, A Cup of Jo
It’s perfect. You can make the sauce in the time it takes to cook the pasta. And other than cooking the tomatoes for a few minutes to make them warm and saucy, most of the recipe is simply tossing the pantry ingredients together. It would go great as a Sunday mid afternoon meal in the summer (along with a big salad of fresh vegetables and a simple vinaigrette), or you could have it as a fast Wednesday night dinner in winter. I mean look at it: it’s beautiful.
It’s highly riffable too. If you take away the chicken, it’s a nice vegetarian meal. Or you could remove the chicken and fry up some chorizo sausages or Italian coldcuts (all bite sized) before you added the cherry tomatoes to the pan. You can use any olives you like, and you could switch the feta with some other melty grated cheese if you prefer. I loved the dill on it, but chopped basil or parsely would also do fine. And if you had penne and no cavatappi, go with that. And yeah, I was short on cherry tomatoes, so I chopped up some regular tomatoes to round things up and that worked well.
But I really recommend you should try the original recipe once: it’s a really good combo of flavours. Plus the colours of the artichokes, olives, sun dried tomatoes, feta and dill make the dish look dazzling to me. And capatavi pasta is fun!
Finally, if you love pasta, check out Colu Henry’s Back Pocket Pasta. It’s a gem of a cookbook.
P.S. The image is a link to Letter to Jo. Check out the recipes on Letter to Jo: they have plenty of really good ones. They helped me get out of my cooking rut this week.