Linguini with Spinach, Artichoke Hearts, and Capers
Well it looks like I'm really craving pasta with capers. A few weeks ago while browsing our favorite Food Blog Desam I came across a new blog with a delicious recipe for pasta with artichokes by Poonam of Cooking Adventures. It inspired me to come up with this lovely dish which I've been meaning to make for a while now. One pasta dish leads to another and so today I whipped this up in no time at all, come to think of it this recipe is perfect for the 30 minute meals event being held by Shaheen at Malabar Spices. The key to tossing this together easily is to make sure you have the ingredients in your pantry. The whole idea behind having a stocked pantry and fridge is to escape that stare into the fridge while stating that "There is absolutely nothing good to eat here." I like to keep a variety of frozen vegetables on hand, pastas, and tomato sauces in the cupboard and jars of olives, capers, and banana peppers in my fridge. Another good item to make sure you always have are dried herbs, and if you are organized enough with a weekly trip to the market you can easily keep nice fresh herbs in the fridge.
This way, a quick pasta is never more than 30 minutes away... And this meal is perfect for one person (the hubby is out with the boys tonight). Its hard to cook when its just yourself, but I think if the ingredients and recipes are readily at hand the inspiration to cook for yourself will strike with greater frequency.
Linguini with Baby Spinach, Artichoke Hearts, and Capers
3-4 ounces of cooked pasta, 5-6 pieces chopped frozen artichoke hearts, 1 handful of baby spinach, 1 tsp of chopped garlic, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 large tomato chopped (OR 1 cup of crushed tinned tomatoes), 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 tbsp parsley chopped, 1 tsp capers, parmesan cheese
1. Boil about 8-10 cups of water in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped garlic and saute for a few seconds.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook them thoroughly.
4. Add the frozen artichokes (microwave them for 2 minutes first).
5. Add the baby spinach and mix.
6. Add the pasta and a little of the pasta water.
7. Add salt, pepper, and red chili flakes and mix.
8. Garnish with the capers, parsley, and grated parmesan cheese
During the 8 minutes that the pasta is boiling, you can assemble the tomato sauce and cook the artichokes and spinach. And if you multitask and microwave the artichokes while doing the tomatoes the cooking time will be even faster. I was lazy and didn't want to wash more than 1 pot, so I boiled the pasta first, drained and reserved it in my serving bowl. Assembled the sauce in the same pot which took another 10 minutes at most. 1 pot for cooking, 1 bowl for eating, and you only have 2 dishes to wash. Also I measured the pasta quantity with that circle thingy that came for free with my microwave rice cooker, the smallest 1" circle and that was perfect for me. I bought the frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joe's.
Total time with 2 pots: 20 minutes
Total time with 1 pot: 30 minutes
Total eating time: 10 minutes, max. And thats because I was uploading the pictures for the blog at the same time.
Verdict: It tasted as good as it looks. Try it.