04 October 2007

Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Broccoli

Dinner turned out well tonight. This is a variation on a basic tomato sauce recipe I use semi-regularly. It's fast, healthy, and more importantly, delicious. The sauce is also nice and colorful, and we all know things are better when they look pretty... okay, food is, at least.

Psst... use organic veggies!

Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Broccoli

1/2 lb chunky pasta, like farfalle

~ 2 T olive oil
1 head broccoli
1 can (14 oz) quartered artichoke hearts (not marinated), drained
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 med white onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, thickly sliced crossways
~ 3 T pinenuts (optional)

(spice measurements are approximate, modify to taste)
1/2 t basil
1/2 t oregano
1/8 t ground mustard
healthy pinch of marjoram
small pinch of thyme
1/8 t cayenne
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/8 t fresh-ground black pepper

Start the pasta water to boil and put the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low-ish heat while you prep your veggies. Add the garlic, onion, and spices except black pepper to the olive oil and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts getting translucent around the edges.

Around now, your water should be boiling. Add the pasta, stir, put a steam basket on top, reduce the heat under the pasta to med. low and steam the broccoli about 5 minutes. Rinse the broccoli after you've steamed it and turn the heat back up to med. high on the pasta.

Add the tomatoes to the sauce and use a wooden spoon to crush them as you stir the sauce, to release the juices. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until your pasta's about 3 minutes from being ready. Add the artichoke hearts and broccoli and stir it up. If you're using pinenuts, now's the time to put them in the oven or toaster oven; once toasted, mix with the sauce.

Drain the pasta, top with sauce, serve immediately - with garlic bread, if you have it.

Serves 2

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