CREAMY SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE PASTA is easy enough for midweek, and indulgent enough for company! Incredibly fast to make – it’s on the table, made from scratch, in just 20 minutes!!!
I’m a carnivore through and through. I’ve tried to get on board the Meatless Monday train, and failed miserably. Not only because it’s ingrained in my very core that I need to have some sort of [real] protein (i.e. tofu doesn’t count), but also because I do my grocery shopping on the weekend and it seems logical to me that proteins be cooked early in the week while fresh, rather than freezing them.
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So if anything, I might have a Meatless Thursday. Not Meatless Monday.
Unless, of course, this creamy dreamy Artichoke and Spinach Pasta happened to be on the weekly meal plan…. I’d happily go meatless full time if I could have this every single day….
I don’t know what it is about artichokes, but I really find them addictive. Open a jar and I could eat them like popcorn.
It took a LOT of restraint not to snack on these…..ok, I admit it. There are a few missing. I couldn’t resist!!
Besides being one of my all time favourite pasta dishes, this is insanely fast and easy to make. I get this on the table in 20 minutes – and that’s a leisurely 20 minutes too, no frantic rushing around the kitchen. It has a nice flow to it – here’s how it goes:
- Plonk pasta in boiling water;
- While the pasta cooks, preheat the skillet, chop onion and crush garlic, then saute for a few minutes;
- Make the sauce – a leisurely 5 minutes;
- Add pasta and some pasta water, cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens. Then stir through spinach; and
- The best step: serve and look like a rock star.
Step 4 is actually quite important to make a pasta sauce properly. The addition of pasta water is a classic Italian technique. The pasta water is starchy and when simmered with the sauce for a minute or two, it reacts with the fat in the sauce, thickening it so it clings lusciously to every strand of pasta.
This process is called emulsification, mastered by the Italians and used by restaurants all over the world. Try it once and you’ll never go back. Gone are the days of watery pastas drowning in tons and tons and sauce!
Hope you enjoy!!!
Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Pasta
- 10 oz linguine or fettuccine or other long pasta of choice
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 onion finely chopped (~1/2 cup)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk I use low-fat
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 14 oz jar artichoke hearts drained and halved or quartered
- Salt and pepper
- Finely chopped parsley
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until just before al dente (i.e. packet cook time minus 1 minute).
RESERVE a mug of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, saute for 3 minutes or until onion is softened.
Add cream and milk. Bring to a simmer, then simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the parmesan cheese until it melts. Add artichokes and pasta plus 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water. Toss pasta gently for 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce thickens and coats the pasta - there should be little left pooled at the bottom of the skillet.
Quickly stir spinach through - it will wilt quickly.
If you’re in the mood for pasta, I think you’ll LOVE these…..
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