Pesto Bruschetta

This is my spin on your average bruschetta. I experienced this combo at a pizza place and knew I had to try and replicate it!

Roll pizza dough in to a square shape. Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes. You want the dough to be partially cooked but not done. In the meantime dice tomatoes and add olive oil, basil, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper; mix well

After the dough has baked ten minutes remove from oven and evenly spread pesto. Top with tomato mixture and place back in oven and bake and additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Using a pizza cutter, slice bread sticks in to desired size. (The first time I made this I rolled out individual bread sticks and it was not fun trying to top each individual one with pesto and tomato mixture!) Top with fresh Parmesan cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. 

Mediterranean Pasta

I absolutely love Mediterranean flavors and was craving some pasta! This recipe is really simple and is ready in the time it takes to cook pasta.

1 Cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1(8 1/2-ounce) can artichoke hearts in water, quartered and drained
1/2 Cup capers rinsed and drained
1 package of angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Boil water for pasta. In the mean time heat olive oil in a pan large enough to accommodate all the ingredients including the cooked pasta. I find a 5 1/2 quart saute pan works best. On low add garlic to slightly cook for about one minute.

Once garlic is slightly cooked, (careful not to burn)add artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and chicken stock. Increase heat to steam and soften the ingredients. Once liquid has reduced to half (about 5 minutes) add tomato paste to thicken sauce.

When pasta is a little shy of al dente add to the pan with artichokes and sauce. The pasta will continue to cook while you toss and stir everything together. Salt and pepper to taste, I also add crushed red pepper flakes. Serve with fresh cheese, either feta or Parmesan.

*I served a sliced chicken breast on top of pasta for those who wanted meat.