Some of my favorite recipes have been developed on snow days. A calm settles over the neighborhood (if you consider extremely happy, sledding kiddos calming) and the only ingredients available are the ones already in my pantry and refrigerator. And, as many of you know, I grocery shop multiple times per week, buying what sounds good for the next day or so, so my pantry can occasionally look like Mother Hubbard’s with a lot of herbs, spices and not a lot of substance.
That was the case last week when 8″ of snow surprised the city of Boise.
And, that’s when the fun began.
With a jar of marinated artichokes, a 1/4 cup of cream, some parmesan, and 5 pantry staples (onion, garlic, olive oil, dried herbs and pasta), I made a pasta dish worthy for company. And, since my pantry staples always include a good assortment of wine, a delicious snow day meal was enjoyed by all.
Pasta with Easy Artichoke Sauce (perfect for a snow day, or company…of both!)
1 onion, chopped
3 medium garlic cloves (or 2 large), minced
I jar marinated artichokes, chopped in to small pieces, oil reserved
1 Tbs dried herbs, pick your favorite (thyme, oregano, herbes de provence, basil)
1/4 – 1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup good quality parmesan, shredded
8 oz. dried pasta
Olive oil, salt, pepper. Fresh ground pepper if you have it.
Optional: extra marinated artichokes, fresh herbs
1. Heat water for pasta, when boiling, add pasta.
2. Meanwhile, sauté onion and garlic in apx 1 tablespoon olive oil, over medium heat, for 10 minutes until onions are soft and yellow.
3. Add marinated artichokes and reserved oil from artichoke jar to onion and garlic mixture. Stir. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste. (I like a little more pepper than some — used 15 grinds from my pepper mill). Cook for 5 minutes on medium low until artichokes are heated through.
4. Once pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain.
5. Add 1/4 cup cream to sauce. If you like a saucier consistency, add a little pasta water or a little more cream. Cook until warm, about 3 minutes. Add pasta to pan, then parmesan. Mix until pasta is covered in sauce and cheese is melted. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Presentation idea: If you have extra artichokes or fresh herbs, top pasta with a couple artichokes and/or sprinkle with chopped herbs.