Friday, June 17, 2011

Spaghetti with Artichokes Hearts and Tomatoes

Here we go, more FANTASTIC pasta from the Pioneer Woman.  I absolutely love these recipes.  These are incredibly easy and so impressive and creative.  The photos are awesome and make it easy to prepare the dish.    My 3 yr. old ATE IT UP!!!!  That makes me so happy.

Spaghetti and Artichoke Hearts and Tomato Goodness

This is such an easy throw-together dinner, I’m almost embarrassed to share it with you. It’s made almost entirely of pantry items and can be adapted according to whatever ingredients you have on hand. There’s no meat in it, though. So have some grilled chicken or steak on hand if you reside with wolves.
This happens to be a tomato-cream based sauce, which has been my favorite pasta sauce on earth for the past 20 years. It’s the best of both worlds: tangy but creamy; tomato-y but decadent. I love it forever.

Grab an onion and some garlic.

Smash three or four garlic cloves with the blade of a knife or a heavy can…

Then chop ‘em up nice and fine.

Dice up half the onion by peeling it and making vertical slices, then rotating it 90 degrees and slicing again.
Here’s my very advanced, multi-step, hugely complicated tutorial: How to Chop an Onion

Meanwhile, boil some pasta. This is thin spaghetti, which, in my opinion, is the only kind of spaghetti.
Fat, thick spaghetti = yuck.
But ironically: Bucatini = YUM!
I realize my life makes very little sense.

In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

Add an equal amount of butter.
Butter + Olive Oil = TruLuv4evR

Throw in the onion and garlic…

And cook for a couple of minutes.

Now, here’s where the pantry really kicks into gear: crack open a can of whole or quartered artichoke hearts. And note: don’t get the hearts that have been marinated in oil and spices; you just want the plain ones. Drain them and add them to the skillet, and allow them to cook for a couple of minutes.
If you use whole hearts: before you add them to the pan, lightly squeeze each heart over the sink. This’ll get rid of a lot of the watery solution that’s trapped in between the leaves and let the good stuff come in.
You must trust Pioneer Woman.

After a couple of minutes, dump in a can of diced tomatoes.
I generally prefer whole tomatoes, but in simple pasta dishes like this one, the diced ones just cooperate better.

Shake and stir it around, then let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring (or shaking pan) occasionally. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

And while we have a few minutes, I’d like to say that I think artichokes are one of the real treats of this fertile earth of ours. Ever cook a whole artichoke, make a dipping sauce of mayonnaise, lemon, and herbs, and dig in like a wild person?
Try it sometime. It’s a real experience.
Okay, now that the artichokes and tomatoes have cooked, it’s time to reduce the heat to low. It’s also time to get really, really serious and make peace with yourself.




Stir and shake it around to combine the tomatoes with the cream…and watch the magic unfold.

Oh my. Few things make me happier than this.

Okay—this is just a weird little suggestion that’s totally optional. In honor of the season we’re in, sprinkle in some…ground nutmeg! It’s not overpowering—promise. Just adds a slightly unique flavor to the dish.

Next, drizzle in 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth. Stir it together, then allow the sauce to cook and thicken for another couple of minutes. Add more broth to get it to the consistency you want, check the seasonings, then turn off the heat.

Add drained spaghetti to a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle a cup of Parmesan cheese over the top.

Pour on every drop of the hot sauce.

Grab whatever herbs you have on hand. I had chives, but if I’d had parsley and basil, I would have chopped them up, too.

Throw the herbs over the top.

Toss the whole thing gently with tongs. You want to get all the pasta coated, and all the Parmesan distributed.

Mmmmm. Delicious! The sauce shouldn’t be overly thick or overly thin; if it seems to get too thick, you can drizzle in a few spoonfuls of hot chicken broth to thin things up a bit.

I’m always doing this. I can’t help it.
Pasta has always made me do things I shouldn’t do.
Serve with crusty french bread and a dipping sauce of oil and balsamic vinegar. Pour yourself a glass of white wine. Put your feet up on the table; read the newspaper while you eat. It’s Wednesday night, for Pete’s sake—live a little.

Recipe: Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

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  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 can Artichoke Hearts (14.5 Oz. Quartered Or Whole) Drained
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes With Juice (14.5 Oz.)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cups Chicken Broth (More As Needed)
  • ½ teaspoons Nutmeg
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound Thin Spaghetti
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives (or Other Herbs) Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Cook spaghetti till al dente. Drain and set aside.
Melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not undersalt!) Cook over low heat until heated through, then turn off heat.
Place drained pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan. Pour sauce over the top. Add chives. Toss lightly to combine and coat; add a tiny bit of reserved pasta water if sauce seems too thick.

*Recipe and Photos are from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.  
AND IT IS Delicious!!!!!!  
Bon Appetit!  

"Je suis reconnaissant pour mes bénédictions."
 "I am thankful for my blessings."