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PASTA WITH SPINACH ARTICHOKE PESTO

I just recently submitted this post for review on a food blog I love, but thought I would share it here in the meantime.

If you like spinach and artichoke dip, you will love this recipe.  I saw Rachel Ray make it on the Food Network and while I’m not always into her recipes, this seemed like a somewhat healthy dish that could be thrown together pretty quickly.

The original recipe calls for mint, call me crazy, but I’m pretty much all set with mint being in my food, so I left it out.  I left out the almonds too because I didn’t have any on hand.

You will need:

  • 1 pound pasta.  I think ziti or rigatoni works best.
  • 2-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • About 5 oz baby spinach.  I used almost an entire package of Olivia’s Organic
  • shallot or ¼ chopped onion.  Both work.
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock.
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, smashed up like a paste or use a garlic press
  • About ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I eyeball it.

Start by getting your pasta boiling in some water with salt.  You will want to reserve 1 cup of the pasta water to finish off the pesto.

In a non-stick skillet, heat about a tablespoon of evoo and sauté the artichokes until they are cooked through and turn off the heat.

In a food processor, add the spinach, shallot/onion, garlic, salt and pepper and the stock.  Turn it on and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of evoo.

This is where it can go either way.  The first time I made this I just added the pesto to the skillet with the quartered artichokes like the recipe said. While everyone like it, my 10yr old suggested it would be better if I put the cooked artichokes into the food processor with the pesto.  I personally agree.

Chunky:  Add the pesto to the artichokes in the skillet.

Smooth:  Add the artichokes to the food processor and blend for about a minute and then dump it all into the skillet.

Turn the heat on and start stirring.  You’ll notice the pesto is pretty thick.  Slowly add the cup of pasta water to your desired consistency. I use the entire cup.

This sort of shows the color and consistency

Finish it off with your grated cheese and taste.  I usually drizzle in another tablespoon of evoo into the pesto or just add it to the pasta instead to coat.  Then toss your pasta with the pesto and you are done.  Enjoy.  My girls love it.

We eat this dish hot, but I lately I’ve been making an extra batch because Haley likes it as a cold pasta salad sometimes and will take it to school for lunch.  You can add a jar of Trader Joes Roasted Peppers and even some grilled chicken.

Once I substituted quinoa for the pasta.  That night I was asked to pack an extra container to share with her friends.

For the quinoa I just buy the box at Trader Joes.  Add 3 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer until you see the spirals form.  Then drain the excess water lay a dish towel over the pot, cover and let sit for another 5 minutes or until fluffy.

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Getting Fresh with Emmie and Mel – Week 8: Green Smoothies

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She refused to give it up, but I had to take it and put it in a sippy cup because she almost spilled it a few times. So I gave her back her cup of water in the meantime while I did this.

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Getting Fresh with Emmie and Mel – Week 4: Eggplant

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Getting Fresh with Emmie & Mel – Week 2: Cauliflower

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