Blog of the Belly Biter:

Some plant-based, some unhealthy, some super healthy but ALL good. Kid tested and mother approved!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Artichoke Pesto Pasta

I made this for the first time back in May (which feels like worlds away with how far I've come on all this foodstyle thing)... and have revamped it a couple of times. Every time it got better and better. Because my kids weren't big fans of eating the actual artichokes, I now puree them, and it turns them into this thick, cream-like stuff. Yum. Which has made this amazing pasta even yummier because now it's just full of yummy, creamy goodness. One of my most favorite recipes - by far.

Other then the taste, it's also my favorite because it's amazingly easy too. When I make it, I always double the pesto and freeze half of it. It's the best on-hand meal you could have on your shelf (artichokes) and in your freezer (pesto). Yum.

1/2 pound spinach or whole wheat pasta1 medium-size red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white grape juice, veggie broth, or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Basil-Cilantro Pesto (see below)
1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and pureed

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, usually about 10 minutes. Once you've added the pasta to the water, proceed with the recipe.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and steam-fry the onion until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Puree in blender the rinsed artichokes. Add the garlic to the skillet and saute for a minute more. Add the white grape juice, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute or two. Lower the heat to low. At this point, the linguine should be done.

When the pasta is ready, don't drain it. Use a pasta spoon to transfer it to the pan in batches. This is a good method because you can use the pasta water to thin out the pesto and make sure that everything gets evenly coated. When you add one batch, add a bit of the pesto, too, and using the pasta spoon, saute to coat. Proceed with the rest of the pasta and pesto until you've added all of it. Stir in the artichoke heart puree. If it seems dry, add extra splashes of pasta water.

Cook gently over low heat just until all is heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately!

adapted from Veganomicon
page 191
serves 4
cook time: 35 minutes

Basil-Cilantro Pesto

In the book they say this is their "cheapskate" pesto because they're using a cheaper nut, almonds, instead of the traditional pine nuts. I guess "cheapskate" translates to awesome in my book, because that's what this stuff was... awesome! I could eat it by the spoonful. And with using my fat-free oil substitute instead of oil - I could... and did...
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/3 cup slivered  or sliced almonds
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fat-free oil substitute

Place the basil, cilantro, almonds, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor and blend until pasty, scraping down the sides occasionally. With the food processor on, slowly drizzle in the oil substitute. Blend until relatively smooth and no large chunks of almonds are left. If you don't have a food processor and are using a blender (i did this so i didn't have to get out the big food processor), then just add the olive oil at the end, since many blenders aren't equipped with and opening to drizzle into.
Veganomicon, pg 214
makes about 1 cup
time: 10 minutes

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what you thought if you've bitten one of my bites!