Artichoke and Olive Pasta | Recipe

Impress Your Honey Pasta Recipe

Impress your valentine with the super simple recipe for pasta that tastes complicated. Make this for your Valentine’s Date and serve by candlelight!

Impress Your Honey Pasta

  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil, for sauteing
  • 1 Can diced tomatoes, with Italian spices if you can find it
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 Can artichoke hearts, again marinated in spices if you can find it, drained and chopped
  • 1 Can black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, or more if you like it spicy
  • Pasta of Choice, cooked as suggested
  1. On medium heat, saute a tablespoon of olive oil and garlic for two minutes. Avoid browning the garlic.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasoning.  Bring to a simmer.
  3. Add artichokes and olives and stir until combined. Remove from heat.
  4. Toss pasta with sauce or top pasta with sauce.
  5. Break out your good china and serve with crusty rosemary bread and a glass of your favorite wine.

Impress Your Honey Pasta2 Impress Your Honey Pasta3

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Orzo with Eggplant and Mozzarella Bake | Recipe

Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

I’m always game for a new eggplant recipe. I came across a baked orzo recipe on Smitten Kitchen.  Her variation included carrots and celery. From past experiences I know that I do not like the sweetness carrots bring to a dish so I made a few savory changes and added artichokes and olives.

I can say that this recipe is honestly one of the best I have made. Sometimes you mess around with a recipe and it comes out eh… well this is anything but eh. Now, I will admit it took a little time and involved a good bit of ingredients. So this isn’t a quick meal to make on a week night but it is well worth the effort. You can even split it up into two dishes and freeze one for a later date (I did).

Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.


  • 1 Large Eggplant, cubed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Heaping cup of orzo
  • 1 Spoonful of tomato paste
  • 1 Can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
  • 1/2 Cup sliced kalamata olives, more if you prefer
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh oregano, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 to 2 Cups firm fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 Heaping cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tomatoes, diced
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Place eggplant in a colander and sprinkle heavily with kosher salt, sit for 30 minutes. This will draw out some of the bitterness and moisture in the eggplant. While this is going on, prepare your other ingredients. After 30 minutes, rinse eggplant well and dry on a towel.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a large pan, I used my 12 inch cast iron pan, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil.
  4. When oil is hot, add eggplant and saute for 8 minutes.

    Image copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

  5. Remove eggplant with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  6. In the hot pan, use the remaining oil to saute onion and garlic for approximately 3 minutes or until translucent.
  7. Add orzo and tomato paste, mix well and cook for 2 minutes more.
  8. Turn off heat and stir in olives and artichokes until combined and heated.
  9. Slowly add broth and remaining ingredients plus 1 scant teaspoon of table salt and several grinds of fresh pepper. Note: Mix the cheeses in last.

    Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

  10. Transfer mixture to a large baking dish or two small/medium dishes. I chose two medium sized dishes. One to bake and one to save.
  11. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown the top.

    Image copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

  12. Allow dish to set for 5 minutes before serving.
  13. Enjoy with rosemary bread.

Image copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

I have found that I am heavy handed when I pour and add my ingredients. Maybe that is why I ended up with two medium dishes of the orzo bake. I hope it translates the same when you try. Note: if you don’t have fresh oregano use a few teaspoons of dried.

I hope you give this recipe a try, it really is great.


Lemon Asparagus and Mushroom Pasta

Image copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

You can find a great supply of asparagus in the spring, its one of those foods that makes me think of the beginning of warm weather and spring rain showers. I find this pasta to be a light and healthy dish for spring.


  • 1 Bunch asparagus
  • 5 ounces Sliced baby portobella mushrooms
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Parsley
  • Cooked linguini or pasta of choice
  1. Spray a baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Clean and slice asparagus into 1 to 2 inch slices.
  3. Combine asparagus, lemon juice, garlic, pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Place mixture in baking dish and top with a bit of sea salt.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes in the over at 400 degrees.
  6. Saute mushrooms in a spray of olive oil with pepper. Add mushrooms to the baking dish once thoroughly cooked. Alternatively, you can add the mushrooms in the baking dish at the beginning if so desired. This was just how I decided to cook them.
  7. Cook pasta according to directions.
  8. Combine pasta and vegetables in a large bowl. Toss the mixture until all of the noodles are covered in the lemon juice. If desired, drizzle a bit of evoo.
  9. Top with chopped parsley.

Quick Friday Night Dinner | Broccoli and Garlic Pasta

Looking for a quick dinner? You just may have these ingredients around the kitchen.


  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Shakes red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 or 2 bunch of broccoli, chopped (or a bag of frozen broccoli)
  • Whole wheat pasta, cooked – enough servings for each person
  • Parmesan cheese, optional

Heat a large frying pan on the stove, add olive oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Saute until fragrant but do not allow the garlic to brown. Stir broccoli into pan and coat with oil and garlic. Cook broccoli, mixing occasionally, until the color changes and the pieces are tender. Add extra olive oil if needed. Mix the pasta and with the broccoli, top with pepper and, if you prefer, parmesan cheese.

What are your favorite quick meals?