Enjoy a quick and easy pasta dish that brings together the robust flavors of sun-dried tomatoes, savory Italian sausage, and creamy melted mozzarella cheese. Each bite has the rich flavor of sun-dried tomatoes complementing the sausage, while the melted mozzarella adds a little creaminess that ties it all together, making it an amazing 30 minute pasta dinner.
I was raised in the South and can honestly say, I never had an artichoke until I was out of college. I don’t feel like I led a sheltered life, we just don’t cook with artichokes much in the South, (except for artichoke dip) and I’m not sure why.
It could be that artichokes need cool summer weather so that leaves us out. They grow in Northern California where the summers are cool and the winters are mild. For everything you need to know about artichokes, check out Ocean Mist Farms, don’t ask a Southerner.
So while I came late to the game, I love this strange vegetable and have been experimenting with it in recipes. They add a great flavor and texture to chicken saltimbocca, and along with sun-dried tomatoes they are fantastic in this 30 minute sun-dried tomato pasta dish.
This is a really simple pasta dish with some added fresh mozzarella mixed in at the end. Just a few ingredients but the perfect combination for lots of flavor with very little effort. The flavor profile is increased by cooking the sausage in the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes!
What’s surprising, is my veggie hating daughter loves artichokes. So if you have some haters, give this recipe a try, you never know.
What Can You Do With Artichokes
While I love cooking with artichokes, they are fantastic right out of the jar to eat as a snack, served with an anti-pasta platter, added to a salad, or as a topping to your favorite homemade pizza.
Types of Canned Artichokes
For this recipe, you’ll want to use artichoke hearts that come in a can or jar and not raw artichokes. You can find them in the vegetable section of the grocery store. You will have several choices, some are packed in water, some in oil, and some are packed in a seasoned oil. For this recipe, you can save money and use artichokes packed in water.
However, any of the other varieties will work in this pasta dish. The other flavors are strong enough that you don’t really get the benefit of the marinade.
What is Italian Sausage
Italian Sausage in the US is made of pork and is generally seasoned with fennel. The only difference between sweet or mild and hot is that the hot will have red pepper flakes. Either will work in this sausage pasta recipe.
Italian suasage adds so much flavor to a dish, it’s not only great on it’s own like with sausage and peppers but makes a great dinner when combined with baked rice and corn or wrapped up in pretzel dough. It’s versatile enough to change the way you think about breakfast cooked in an pie with apples or added to apple biscuits.
Reasons to Love Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Italian Sausage
- Quick and easy 30 minute dinner
- Light and refreshing
- The flavor from sun-dried tomatoes permeate the pasta
- Freezes well for leftovers
- Pasta casseroles are so comforting
What You’ll Need to Make Sausage Pasta
- Canned Artichokes hearts – you will want to use artichokes that have been canned in water. You can also use frozen artichokes, but I have trouble finding these in my grocery stores. You don’t need the artichokes that are packed in oil or a marinade but they will work in the recipe.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes – for this recipe, you need the ones that are packed in oil because you will use the oil to flavor the pasta.
- Italian sausage – you can use hot or mild depending on your preference.
- Fresh Mozzarella – if you use a block of mozzarella, it will need to be grated and added to the pasta or it won’t melt the way that fresh mozzarella will.
- Chicken broth and white wine – you can use all chicken broth if you prefer not to use wine but the wine adds flavor.
- Fresh basil – all pasta dishes are better with a little fresh basil.
- Pasta – you can use penne or rigatoni or any similar tubular pasta.
- Pantry staples – garlic, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese.
Simple Steps to Make Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
Step 1: cook the pasta
Boil the pasta to al dente.
Step 2: brown the sausage
In the largest skillet you have, cook the Italian sausage in the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, then remove it to a plate.
Step 3: add some flavor
In the same skillet add the artichokes, garlic, and sundried tomatoes.
Add chicken broth and wine and let it simmer.
Step 4: combine
Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet so that it absorbs the flavors, then add the sausage back and finish with cubes of mozzarella that will melt as it sits simmers. If your skillet won’t hold everything, use the pot that the pasta cooked in.
Start to finish in just 30 minutes. Everyone was in agreement that I need to cook with artichokes more often. Give them a try, you’ll be surprised at how much flavor they add.
How to Store Extra Pasta
This pasta dish can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can also freeze it. I will portion it out into Souper Cubes and then vacuum seal the portions for a longer freezer life. If stored in an airtight container, it should stay fresh for 3-4 months.
To re-heat, let it thaw and microwave or cover with aluminium foil and heat in the oven.
If you love Pasta dishes as much as me, you might enjoy some of these recipes
- Cheesy baked penne alla vodka
- For a one pot meal, try quick and easy taco pasta
- For a heartier meal, a traditional Sunday sauce with beef short ribs is my go-to
- Need to take a meal to a friend, stuffed shells can be made ahead and frozen
- Try adding some spinach and shrimp for a creamy pasta dish
What to Serve with Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
Adapted from Giada’s Family Dinner
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Artichoke Hearts
- ¾ cup 8.5 oz jar of oil packed sun-dried tomatoes drained and reserve oil
- 2 tablespoons reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 lb Italian sausage casings removed
- 16 ounces artichoke hearts packed in water
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
- ½ cup white wine
- 12 ounces penne
- ½ cup parmesan cheese freshly shredded
- ⅓ cup fresh basil chopped
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese drained and cubed
- pinch pepper flakes optional
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While you are waiting, make the sauce.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and break apart with a spoon, cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
- Add canned artichoke hearts and garlic to the same skillet and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, wine and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until slightly reduced, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes.
- Drain pasta and add to the artichoke mixture. Add sausage, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and basil back to the pan. Stir in the cubed mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper and serve with additional parmesan.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Use artichokes canned in water
- You will need a very large skillet. If you don’t have one large enough, drain the pasta and add everything to the pasta pot.
- If you use a block of mozzarella instead of fresh, then grate it first so that it will melt.