Monday, January 18, 2010

Simple & Healthy Gluten-Free Veggie Pasta

One day strolling through the frozen vegetable section I was surprised to find frozen artichokes.  I hadn't had artichokes in a while and sometimes it can be difficult to get good artichokes on the east coast so this was a great find.  Having frozen artichokes ready to go is a simple way to add flavor to dishes.  This dish is very light, healthy, inexpensive to prepare, and is also customizable.  If you want more tomatoes, add more tomatoes... less garlic... add less garlic.  You can also substitute with vegetables you already have in the house.  Enjoy!

Simple & Healthy Gluten-Free Veggie Pasta

1 pkg brown rice spaghetti or linguini (I prefer Tinkyada & Trader Joes)
1-2 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic - minced
12oz frozen artichokes (usually they are halves and quartered and in 12oz pkgs)
2 tsp sweet basil - fresh or dry
fresh cracked pepper
2 zucchini sliced and quartered (optional and recommended)
about 15 cherry tomatoes (crushed by hand) or canned diced tomatoes
1/3 cup dry white wine
squeeze lemon

1) In a large pot, bring water and a tsp of salt to boil. Once boiling add pasta and cook until al dente reserving about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water.

2) In a large deep pan over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic and frozen artichokes.  Add basil, fresh cracked pepper and stir until artichokes are about 1/2 thawed.

3) To the pan add zucchini, stir to combine and cover.  Cover and cook for about 3 minutes (zucchini should be about 1/2 way cooked at this point).

4) Crush tomatoes into pan and stir to combine.  Cook for about 2 minutes.

5) Don't worry if you see that some of the ingredients are starting brown on the bottom of the pan, the next step is magic and fixes it.  Add the dry white wine and scrape bits off the bottom of the pan.  The deglazing effect also makes clean up of the pan so much easier.  Continue to cook at medium heat to cook off the alcohol in the wine (about 2-3 minutes)

6) Add in the 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and stir.  This is going to thicken the sauce slightly.

7) Add drained pasta to skillet and toss with sauce and vegetables.  Add a squeeze of lemon and serve.  If you can tolerate dairy, add freshly grated parmesan reggiano on top.

Serves about 4