Monday, May 21, 2012

Meatless Monday: Tara's Spinach Artichoke Pasta

It's that time of year again when food comes from the backyard! Can I get a HOORAY?! The first thing that comes out of my garden every spring is spinach and whenever I have fresh spinach it just so happens that I must make the following recipe. It's just too good.

Tara is my awesome neighbor/friend/fellow samosa fanatic.  She also happens to be a fantastic cook (check out her blog here). She's one of those people I envy that can make up her own recipes with success. So, with her permission, I'm going to share her recipe for spinach artichoke pasta. It's basically hot spinach-artichoke dip meets pasta. It also happens to be super-easy and super-fast to whip up, making it a perfect dish for those days when you don't feel like cooking or it's too hot to spend much time in the kitchen.

Tara's Spinach Artichoke Pasta

1 lb. pasta (I used spaghetti. Linguini would also be a good choice.)
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water, not oil)
3 cups of fresh baby spinach leaves (Three cups is best, but I used a little less this time since I didn't have that much to pick yet. I also threw in a little Swiss chard. Worked just fine.)
4 oz. softened cream cheese
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (I went with three because I love my pasta garlicky!)
1/2 - 1 cup chicken broth (Oops. That makes it a little less "meatless". Vegetable stock would work just fine, though.)
1/2 - 1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Start by getting a pot of water boiling and then cook the pasta according to package directions.

While your pasta is cooking, get your cheese grated, your garlic minced (I always just use my fine grater for garlic), and the artichokes drained and diced into small pieces.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return to original pot. Add the cream cheese and stir until it mixes in and melts (the heat from the pasta should melt it). Seriously, is there any food that cream cheese doesn't make better?

Add the artichokes, chicken broth to the consistency that you like (start with 1/2 cup and work your way slowly up to 1 cup, if desired), garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

Add the spinach last so it won't wilt too much. I tore it into smaller pieces as I was adding it. (Also, please excuse the blurry photo. I'm just not so great at stirring and taking a picture -- in low light, no less -- at the same time.)

Oh, this dish is AMAZING. When my husband takes the leftovers to work and reheats it, he'll often get guys at work asking where he bought his lunch.  Nope. Just homemade (and homegrown) deliciousness. Well, until Tara opens a restaurant. When that happens, I'll be one of the first in line.

{This post is linked up with Your Green Resource.}

1 comment:

Tara said...

I am famous! ;). Glad you liked it-it's one of my 'first time I made it, it worked' recipes. No fiddeling. Now I need to go make some because my spinach is up, too. YUM!

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