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.
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.
© 2004 John Ash. All rights reserved.