Penne with Artichokes, Walnuts, and Olives |

Penne with Artichokes, Walnuts, and Olives

This is such a delicious dish. The greatness lies in the simplicity.

All the flavors – the artichokes, the walnuts, the sun-dried tomatoes, the kalamata olives – they’re all just so good together.

I served this with a simple bowl of mixed olives from the olive bar at the market and that was all that was needed to round out this meal.

And the family inhaled in it record time so this one’s a keeper, for sure.

Penne with Artichokes, Walnuts, and Olives


  • 1lb. penne pasta
  • 2T olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 - 14oz. jar artichokes in oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2T fresh Italian parsley, minced


  1. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add garlic, stirring frequently, for one minute.
  3. Stir in the walnuts, artichokes, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Add the broth and reduce heat to a simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Pour over the pasta and toss to coat.
  6. Adjust seasoning and serve warm.
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Chickpea and Pasta Soup with Spinach |

Chickpea and Pasta Soup with Spinach

Hearty without being heavy. This is summertime comfort food, as requested by our youngest aka The Soup Lover, who went back for thirds and then again for lunch the next day.

The secret ingredient and the key to greatness with this soup is the homemade vegetable stock. Stock-in-a-box will work in a pinch but if you’ve got a few extra minutes, it’s worth the time for the richer flavor that comes with homemade.

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Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese | A classic kid-favorite! |

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

You know those days when you don’t want to turn on the oven or do any real cooking on the stove but you could really go for some good old-fashioned cheesy carb-loaded comfort food? I had one of those days last week and this mac and cheese really hit the spot.

Keep in mind this is not one of those fix-it-and-forget-it recipes because the cooking time is only 2-3 hours and you will need to stir it occasionally so plan accordingly.

I served this with a plate of fresh vegetables and a sliced baguette, for sopping up the extra cheesy sauce. Carbs on carbs. I didn’t even care. Totally worth it.

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Zucchini & Spaghetti Olio with Chickpeas and Mozzarella |

Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti Pasta Olio with Chickpeas and Mozzarella

We actually ate dinner outside on the back deck last night!

This is a big deal because it has been cold and raining here in our part of Northern Virginia for what feels like the entire month of May. But that seems to be over now and we’re breaking out the summer dresses and sandals. Yay! 🙂

So, last night…. I made kind of a combination of two family favorites – Zucchini Pasta Olio and Pasta e Olio – with a few minor changes.

This recipe and those are similar in that all three make for great weeknight meals. Super quick, easy to make, and only require a few ingredients that you probably either have on hand already or could easily swap out for something else.

And this one is the best of both because, instead of using an entire box of spaghetti pasta, we’re swapping out half of that for spiralized zucchini, which also gives the dish a nice touch of color. But you could totally make this with either all pasta or all zucchini.

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A summertime classic! | thiswifecooks

Vegan BBQ Baked Beans

Remember how I was all, “Summer’s coming!” in my last post? Well, I may have been prematurely excited because it’s still cold but that is not stopping me from looking ahead to summertime and all the classic picnic and potluck favorites we love, including these baked beans.

There is just something about BBQ-anything that makes me only want to serve it in warm weather and this has been my go-to baked beans recipe every summer for years now.

What I love about this recipe is its crowd-pleasing simplicity, perfect for a Father’s Day or 4th of July get-together with the family. You start with two cans of baked beans but then give them a little a gourmet kick with the addition of a few ingredients you likely already have on hand.

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Margarita Cocktails | Can't go wrong with the classic! |

Margarita Cocktails

It’s actually, finally, maybe, beginning to feel like summer could be is on it’s way here – eventually.

We’re in that awkward in-between time where people truly don’t know how to dress. Just the other day, I was in a short sleeve top, jeans, and flip flops while standing next to a woman in a sweater and Uggs. And yet another person at the same place was in shorts and a tank top, which was just ridiculous anyway but that’s how confused people are right now.

The mindset seems to be for some that if we all just dress “as-if” it’s summertime, then it will magically be so.


In the spirit of magical thinking, I made margaritas:

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