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Vegetarian

Artichoke Kale Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Comforting and delicious, this pasta dish is packed with zucchini, artichokes and is topped with zesty sun-dried tomato pesto. A perfect weeknight dinner!

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“This is one of those dishes I consider a treat dish,” says Chef Jason Wyrick. “It’s a little decadent, but oh so good, and I think having a meal like this once a week is important. I also like recipes like this with components that you can use in other dishes. You can make a much larger batch of the pesto and keep it around for use later on. It will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge and you can freeze it, too.”

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp of sun-dried tomato pesto (recipe follows)
  • ½ pound of whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 to 8 marinated artichoke heart pieces
  • 1 large zucchini, diced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups kale chips
  • Almond ricotta (like the Kite Hill brand) (optional)
  • Sprinkle of Aleppo chiles or crushed red chiles (optional)
  • Zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Sun-dried tomato pesto

  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated
  • 3 tbsp of slivered almonds
  • 6 to 8 pitted kalamata olives
  • Sprinkle of Aleppo chiles or crushed red pepper
  • Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves or ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Preparation

  1. Start by making the pesto. In a small food processor, pulse the ingredients until you have a very coarse paste (hence the name pesto,) and set it aside. It’s better if it can rest for a few minutes before using and it can do that while you cook the other components.
  2. Boil the pasta in salted water until it is al dente. Drain, but do not rinse.
  3. While the pasta is boiling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the artichokes and sauté them until they lightly brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the zucchini, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until the zucchini starts to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low to keep the pan warm. As soon as the pasta is done, add it to the pan along with 3 tablespoons of the pesto and toss together.
  4. Plate the pasta and top with a generous handful of kale chips and any of the optional ingredients.

Bonus: Want to turn this into a super hearty meal? Add ½ cup of cooked chickpeas to the pan when you toss the pasta and other ingredients together.

More recipes from Chef Jason Wyrick: