Artichoke and Olive Sauce with Conchiglioni

This recipe is an excellent demonstration of chopping as both technique and flavor-maker. The sauce isn’t even cooked, but by chopping all these tasty things up small, you end up with a dish that is vibrant and complex in the mouth, full of flavor and texture.

Conchiglioni are shell-shaped pasta, a nice shape for a sauce like this, because the little bits of olive, artichoke, and pepper get trapped inside the shell, making each bite different. This is great for a weeknight supper, because you can toss the sauce ingredients together one night (or weekend afternoon) and have an instant great meal the next.

Ingredients

  1. 1 -ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  2. 1 cup diced red bell peppers, raw or roasted
  3. cup chopped, pitted green or black olives, or a combination
  4. cup chopped lightly toasted walnuts
  5. ¾ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped (you should have about cup)
  6. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  7. ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  8. cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  9. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  10. Drops of fresh lemon juice to taste
  11. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  12. 12 ounces dried conchiglioni

Method

Combine the artichoke hearts, peppers, olives, walnuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, cheese, zest, juice, and pepper in a serving bowl (or a storage container if you’re making it ahead) and stir it all together. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring it up to room temperature before using.

Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of additional cheese, if desired.

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