Penne with Artichoke Hearts: Cooking with Tessa Kiros

What's Going on Today: Crazy Friday - daughter's pre-school class, lunch date, after naptime coffee with friends.
Naptime Goals: Catch up on correspondence, order more summer clothes for daughter, prepare for the weekend. Make artichoke heart sauce.
Tonight's Menu: Tessa's Penne with Artichoke Hearts, slice of Banana Bread for dessert.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: TGIF. It applies to all of us.

This week has been wonderful - daffodils are springing up everything, masses of birds flit around the parks and we can't get enough of the playground and parks. Funny though, with all this natural beauty to call us outdoors I've noticed that the pace of life has quickened. Tenfold. All of a sudden it is Friday and I have no idea where the time has gone. No matter though, tonight I am going to pull out one of our old favorite, Tessa Kiros' Penne with Artichoke Hearts.

You all know artichokes are one of my favorite vegetables and this is one of my favorite ways to cook with them. I love the way Tessa tosses them with pasta and a basic pan sauce. The flavors are simple, clean and satisfying. To prepare this during naptime I only have to do one thing - make the sauce. My favorite method for doing start out naptime by sauteing the artichokes then adding the broth so they can simmer away while I do other things. Sometimes I use fresh artichokes for this dish too, I just didn't happen to pick any up today so I am using the frozen ones from my freezer instead.

This is one of those dishes that it is best not to over think. Simply prepare the artichokes as instructed and gently toss them with the pasta. That's all it takes to serve a warm, spring meal for dinner after a long week out and about. This is one of my go-to spring dinners, especially when artichokes are in season and it is bound to become one of yours as well.

Penne with Artichoke Hearts
adapted from Twelve by Tessa Kiros
1 9oz. box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
3 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 t. dried thyme
3 c. low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
Kosher salt and Pepper
1 1lb. penne or other kind of short pasta
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan for serving

1. In a wide, shallow sauce pan heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, thyme and the artichoke hearts, saute until tender and a little golden on the edges. About 4 minutes. Then, add the broth and set it to simmer over low-medium heat until it is reduced to less than 1 c. of liquid. Before you turn off the heat taste it for seasonings and add a few pinches of salt and pepper as needed.
2. Boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Place it in a large bowl and toss it with the artichoke sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

Naptime Notes:
Naptime Recipe Ideas: This recipe doubles well and would be great served at a luncheon or on a buffet. If you wanted some extra texture you could also consider adding some sliced almonds.
Naptime Stopwatch: 5 minutes to prepare the sauce, 30 minutes for it to simmer.
Naptime Reviews:  My daughter is unsure about artichoke hearts but loved the smooth, creamy pasta. My husband adored this, especially after a long week at work.


  1. Looks FABULOUS can't wait to make it!!!!!

  2. Looks great. I am having more fun with the frozen ones that those canned in water - seem fresher somehow. Great post! Thanks and TGIF indeed...