Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Recipe

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 Recipe

serves 2-4

Ingredients

2-4 servings of spaghetti noodles
1 TBS butter
3 pieces thinly sliced prosciutto (or bacon) chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
5 mushrooms sliced (I used crimini but button is fine)
6-10 artichoke hearts (depending on what’s in your jar or can) chopped
3/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup shredded gruyere or parmesan cheese

Instructions

Start your pasta water boiling in a large pot and melt your butter in a large skillet on medium high.  Add prosciutto, onion and garlic to the butter and stir to coat.  Begin cooking your pasta according to package directions.  (Read ahead before draining the pasta!!!)
When onions are softened add the mushrooms and artichokes and stir again to get everything coated in the melted butter.  Let cook 2 minutes before adding the wine.  Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Scoop out 1/4 cup of pasta water (it’s nice and starchy to help make your vegetables more of a sauce) then drain your pasta. Uncover the skillet and add pasta water and spinach.  Mix well and remove from heat as spinach begins to wilt.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide pasta among plates or bowls and spoon artichoke mix over top.  Sprinkle with cheese and stir.
Approximate cost/serving: A big jar of artichokes is $5 at Sam’s Club, I used half that for the recipe and it was the most expensive ingredient.  The total cost was $4.90 and made four servings so $1.23 a serving.

Vegetarian/Gluten Free: You can leave out the prosciutto to make it vegetarian, and use gluten free pasta or serve over rice.

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4 Responses to “Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Recipe”

  1. Kelly
    May 4, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    I have a very unorganized kitchen so I am the wrong person to ask, but eagerly await others suggestions. :-) Honestly, I think the kitchen situation is expected. It’s taken me two months to get decently unpacked in my place and I wouldn’t dare call it organized.

  2. Heather
    May 5, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    Tall square/rectangle sterilite containers for things like pasta/rice. Cheap at Target. They store dry good well and stack on top of each other. I bought a HUGE bag of rice at sams one time and would keep it in my pantry and just use the rice out of the sterilite. It cuts visual clutter and is easier to access! Just filler up when needed :-) We can hardly wait to organize our new kitchen together with our wedding things :-)!!!!

  3. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
    May 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    I knew I’d love this recipe as soon as I saw the recipe! I love all things made with spinach and artichokes! Yum!

    As for kitchen organization secrets, I’m not sure that I am really much help! We’ve lived in our house for 4 years and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to organize my kitchen!

  4. Kevin (Closet Cooking)
    May 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Now that is a tasty looking artichoke pasta dish!

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