Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Spring Break and Pasta with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Last Wednesday we packed up the truck and headed north to Killington, Vermont for a much needed spring break. The kidadults were off from school, I had no cooking gigs and TBHITW squeezed out a few days of rest from his non-stop work schedule. (yeah, right.. he took calls from the slopes, but that's another post)

Ah. Spring Skiing.
Sun, Snow and temperatures in the 70's.

Here I am enjoying the freedom of warm weather skiing without the cumbersome coat, ski pants, hats and scarves of typical winter downhilling.

NOT. I mean, who doesn't wear a helmet these days?

But I do remove the lining from my coat and (gasp) go without long johns. (and we do wear helmets, we just removed them for the photo op)

We rented a small condo slope side and enjoyed uncrowded lifts, warm sun and incredible conditions. And if you ask the 16 year old kidadult, great views. ahem.

One of my favorite things about family vacations is long, leisurely dinners. Because all things food fall to me, I usually plan half our meals out at casual, local, innovative restaurants.

And the other half as eat-in, easy, yet delicious dinners around a big dining room table filled with stories of the day's adventures. Someone will toss the salad while someone else will slice the bread. TBHITW will fix us a cocktail and I will make the main course.

Wait, that's in a dream I once had. Reality: I make the salad, slice the bread, make some cocktails and cook the main course while the family asks 400 times if dinner is ready yet because they are starving.

Anyway, these are the memories I cherish as a family. All of us healthy, tired from a physically exhausting day spent outside, hungry (with true hunger) and together, enjoying good food and happy times.

This recipe will feed a crowd of hungry adventurers as well as satisfy the gourmond in you and you can toss the salad, slice the bread AND make a cocktail without wearing yourself out.

Pasta with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomatoes: serves 6

1 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced
1 (15 1/2) ounce can artichoke hearts (8-10 count) drained and halved
1 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 can (13-ounce) chicken broth (low salt)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon flour
1 pound penne rigate pasta
grated romano cheese to taste

Saute onions in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add garlic and saute another minute, just until fragrant and soft. Add sun dried tomatoes and artichokes, basil and parsley and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Dissolve flour in 1/4 cup cold water. Bring sauce back up to a boil and whisk into sauce. Reduce heat and allow to simmer and thicken.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add pasta to sauce, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Turn out in large bowl, sprinkle with grated romano cheese and serve.

I serve a crusty loaf of hot Italian bread and a simple romaine salad on the side.

What are some of your favorite vacation memories?


  1. Looks like fun was had! Took family to Key West for 5 days once..I swear I'm a Midwestern guy who didn't know about it being gay central! Daytime was fine though, and I ate fresh seafood every day we were there.. Got over a lot of my homophobic feelings..those guys could cook!

  2. We did have fun! Key West is a funky place, isn't it? Glad you got over some of those homophobic feelings - everyone is really the same on the inside. Just human beings looking for really good food!

  3. That recipe sounds delish! I've never been skiing in the snow, just water. My favorite vacation was when I went by myself to visit a bf in SC. It was my first "adult" vacation and it was AWESOME! Beach, booze, and fun :-)

  4. I think this is a pasta recipe I could really make!

  5. Sounds like the absolutely perfect day! As does the recipe. Interesting that you thickened it with flour. I haven't tried that with pasta. This is going on my "to do soon" list.

  6. Mrs. D. Adult vacations can be sooo much fun, especially when it involves a BF.

    Kate - of course you can! if you can make your own tortillas you can definitely make this pasta dish

    Nancy - I found that if you thicken this sauce a bit it clings to the pasta a bit more. The skiing? After 3 1/2 days on the slopes my old bones were exhausted!

  7. That sounds like so much fun, especially after sweating away in our pollen infested neighborhood!

    The pasta sounds like something easy which is much appreciated these days.

  8. sounds delicious! but I'd have to try it with fresh artichokes... I have an aversion to the canned stuff! fortunately for me I live in artichoke heaven (in winter at least) ;o)


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