I *know* you’re tired of TV food…

Ok, maybe not, but I’m always amazed at how little this particular dish tastes like one of my favorites, spinach-artichoke dip, though it has many of the same ingredients. This is decidedly grown-up. If you’re really grown-up, you can add capers to it, I bet that would be great… if only I liked them!

spinachartichokepasta

Eww, what is that slop? Oh, spinach artichoke pasta. Yum!

It’s occured to me that my blog writing style is very much like my awkward teenage self’s social style. It’s so nervous about its’ own existence that it tries to blurt out the bare essential facts and then hide in the corner. Maybe as I accumulate more posts I’ll feel more like my voice belongs in the virtual world, but until then I plan to fake it. 🙂

Speaking of faking it, both The Roomie and I are sex educators. I guess that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as the link between sex and good food has been well documented. What that means for you, though, is that you can expect periodic sexual health/ gender policy blips on this page at random intervals… and the first one is here: If you are or know a female between the ages of 9 and 26, please go/ encourage her to go get the HPV vaccine. HPV is the most commonly transmitted STD, and is estimated to cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers, which are potentially deadly. You can’t get the vaccine later in life than 26, and there is no HPV test for men…so, women, better safe than sorry.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled deliciousness. I love this pasta, and have since I tried Whole Foods’ spinach-artichoke dip. I fell in love with it; it’s nothing like those other dips. You can taste the artichoke! And the spinach! There’s barely any cheese, it’s healthy and…. yet, it still tastes good. So good that I created this recipe to maximize its’ goodness– doesn’t everything taste better with pasta?

For each serving, gather:
olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water (amount may vary according to taste)
2 cups of spinach leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
1 cup of artichokes (fresh cooked, frozen, or canned), sliced thinly
1/4 of a tomato, diced, or a couple of cherry tomatos
1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
1 generous serving of pasta (I like cheese tortellini)
lemon juice, cream, salt, pepper (to taste)
parmesan cheese for serving

This is one of the only dishes I make in which the order really matters. First, put a giant pot of pasta water up to boil, that way it’s ready when you’re ready for it. Then, lightly coat a large skillet with olive oil and sautee onion bits until golden brown. Add garlic and red pepper (optional) and sautee for another 30 seconds or so, until you can smell the garlic. Add spinach and broth/ water, and heat until the leaves cook down. Put pasta in pot, then add artichokes, tomato, and tomato paste to the skillet. Reduce heat and simmer, adding spoonfuls of pasta water as needed to achieve your preferred texture (I like mine chunky but not dry.)  When pasta is cooked, drain it. Quickly add a squirt of lemon juice and a dash of cream if you like, and salt/pepper according to taste. Serve with parmesan cheese. Toss together. Done!

This is a great, fast, weeknight dish, especially when paired with a glass of white wine– and healthy too. Enjoy!

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Filed under pasta, veggies

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