This is officially the first meal cooked from scratch in our new home. I had just a few ingredients in the fridge at the house (the rest were still at the apartment), and all my pantry items and dishes in boxes around the kitchen. I began digging through boxes finding spaghetti, white wine, garlic in a jar and a jar of artichoke hearts. Next I collected the few items in my fridge; butter, prosciutto, mushrooms, spinach and gruyere. Some sort of pasta dish was beginning to take shape in my mind.
To truly understand how difficult it is to cook in my kitchen right now, I have to show you. I’ve actually gotten 4 boxes unpacked, so am starting to figure out where things go in the cupboards. Unfortunately our dishwasher doesn’t work (and there’s no counter space to do them by hand) and the new one is sitting in the middle of our floor!
Oh, I’m also painting around the window, so I have to be careful not to mix up the spatula and the paint brush! I’m totally not complaining, I’m so thankful we’re completely moved in, just saying you have to really want to cook to make something in this kitchen! Now I’ll have to show you pictures once we’re all unpacked (in like a month!) so you know I don’t always live like this
I love the mushrooms in this dish, I mention all the time that Eric and I are big on texture, and they give a great meaty quality to the pasta. Although there is prosciutto in this (which you could substitute with bacon or leave out completely) it’s nice and light like a vegetarian meal, leaving you satisfied but not stuffed, unless you totally overload on the spaghetti noodles!
Once everything simmers in white wine the flavors come together in an astonishing way. I don’t know if I would have used artichokes in pasta except that they’re what I had on hand, but they really work! The tangy flavor sits on your tongue and then is gently replaced by the sweetness of the wine and a hint of smokiness from the prosciutto. Eric kept saying “I don’t know what’s in here, it seems strange, but it tastes so good!”
By the way, I totally understand that some people don’t or can’t cook with alcohol (see my views on alcohol) so there are a couple of other options that will give you a different dish but still taste great. You can use a stock like chicken or mushroom stock to simmer everything, or you can skip ahead to adding the pasta water. We discovered with the leftovers that this is also great with parmesan cheese, so use whatever you have on hand!
Now on to important things…any tips on kitchen organization? I’m thinking I need a knife magnet strip, and I have a spice rack ($1 at Goodwill!) that I think I can put on sliders in a cupboard to save space. What are your secrets to organizing your kitchen?
Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Recipeserves 2-4
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