Recipe for a sunny day

I like impromptu meals. I like to look in the cupboard and the refrigerator and put together something from the ingredients I find there.

If it turns out really well, I’ll make it again for friends. Most of the time it turns out great, but there have been a few disasters.

I love Mediterranean foods, so I keep a lot of olives, tomatoes and like ingredients on hand.

Here’s one of my favorite “found” recipes.

1 pound whole grain pasta (whatever shape you like)

1 jar artichoke hearts (do not drain)

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (if dry, soak for 20 minutes in water, keep water for sauce)

1/2 pound baby portabello mushrooms

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (more or less, as desired)

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted if possible

3 cloves garlic

fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. I usually use fresh pasta, so it doesn’t take long to cook, so I try to time it to be ready with my sauce, which usually takes about 20 minutes.

Saute garlic and mushrooms lightly in the olive oil. When they are nearly done, throw in the basil for maybe 20 to 30  seconds, just to let the flavor loose.

Add remaining ingredients, including liquids from the artichokes and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors marry.

Serve over pasta.

I like to toss in a little crumbled feta cheese at the table, but  fresh grated Parmesan works well, too.

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