This is a slight adaptation of a recipe from Lynn Weller's Vegetarian Food For Friends. My changes decrease the fat and simplify preparation. Don't use cheap canned tomatoes in this dish - the extra few pence for a good brand really makes a difference. I like Cirio brand. You can get away with cheaper olives, if you wish, though. If you can't get fresh basil, just leave it out - dried basil will only detract from the fresh flavours of the barely-cooked tomatoes.
Put the pasta on to cook in plenty of boiling water - read the directions on the packet to see how long it will need to go for.
Meanwhile, carefully rinse and drain the artichoke hearts, gently squeezing out any liquid trapped between the layers, but being careful not to squash them. Cut into quarters, put into a grill (broiler) pan or baking dish, drizzle with the olive oil, and mix gently with your hands, at all times being careful to keep the pieces from falling apart. Put under a grill (broiler), and roast, stirring once or twice, until golden. It doesn't matter if they're done before the pasta; just turn off the grill and leave them there to keep warm.
When the pasta is done, drain it well in a drainer or sieve, leaving the pasta in the drainer for now. Return the empty pasta pan to a medium-low heat and add the chopped tomatoes, olives and pesto. Mix well and heat through for 2 minutes. Return the pasta to the pan and mix well, then gently stir in the roasted artichoke hearts. Heat gently for a further 30 seconds or so, until heated through, then serve, garnished with fresh basil sprigs if you wish.
Kake's (Vegan) Cookery Site - http://www.earth.li/~kake/cookery/
This page added 15 Apr 2001 - comments and questions to Kake L Pugh (email@example.com).