Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Artichoke Rotini Pasta

I'm always looking for relatively easy and quick to put together meals that have a variety of produce, and a decent amount of protein (usually tofu or beans - I need to try making seitan and to find a convenient place to buy tempeh). This is shockingly only the second time I've made this pasta dish (which has artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, capers, onions and my addition of chickpeas) but I really must make it more often. It's full of flavour, filling, and can be low in fat if you find the artichokes that are packed in water or frozen (I used the oil packed ones but rinsed them with water). And not surprisingly, this dish comes from How It All Vegan, one of the best cookbooks out there. I love their recipes because they're quick, easy, often healthy and you usually have all the ingredients at home.

Capers have antioxidants and anti-cancer properties, though I think there hasn't been a lot of research done into them yet. Sun dried tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopene, an antioxidant also found in watermelons, guava, apricots, red peppers, and pink grapefruits. Artichokes have all sorts of health benefits, that I didn't realize. I've got to eat more! Some of the great things about artichokes are that they're a good source of fibre, potassium, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin C, and they help poor liver function. And apparently they're one of the top sources of antioxidants. And then of course there are onions - protective against cancer, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, etc. (Note: I don't claim to be an expert on nutrition and I'm still learning. If you know any of the information I've posted to be incorrect, please let me know so I can fix it! I think the best nutritional advice though is just try to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, etc.)

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Spaghetti and Beanballs with Onion & Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce
Portabello Fettuccine with Spinach Pesto, Roasted Peppers & Romano Cheese
Pasta with Tofu Red Pepper Sauce
Spinach Walnut Pesto with Smoked Tofu & Whole Wheat Rotini

Artichoke Rotini Pasta
Adapted from How It All Vegan!

This dish serves 4, but if you're like me and prefer more stuff in your pasta, it's more likely to serve 3 when you add less pasta.

Serves 4

wholewheat pasta (enough for 4)
1 onion, chopped
16 oz (474 mL) marinated artichoke hearts, chopped* (save the oil)
6 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
6-8 sundried tomatoes, chopped**
can of chickpeas
3 tbsp capers, drained
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp dried basil
salt & pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

While pasta is cooking, in a medium saucepan saute the onions in 1 tbsp of the artichoke oil (or other oil) on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the artichokes, garlic, and lemon juice. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced. Scoop out 1/4 cup of pasta water and add to the saucepan, along with the sundried tomatoes, chickpeas, capers, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, until tomatoes and chickpeas are warmed through. Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Add Parmesan if desired.

*You can use the oil from the marinated artichokes to cook with. You can just as easily use whatever oil you want.
**If they're dried, add them to the pasta water a few minutes before the pasta is done cooking.


sweetpotato said...

I am totally craving all those ingredients!! It looks and sounds perfect.

VeggieGirl said...

I don't own "How It All Vegan," but I'm for sure purchase the cookbook JUST for that recipe - yum!!

Jaime said...

wow, i can see how that would be totally full of flavor!

Hannah said...

Sounds like a delicious, well-balanced meal. And I bet it would be really awesome chilled, too... Perhaps I'll have to try it and see for myself!

Beth said...

I don't eat artichokes very mush - Im not sure why becasue they are delicious - probably becasue hubby says he doesn't like them. What the heck, Im gonna give this one a try anyway. Combination of flavours is fantastic!

Holler said...

This sounds like a great combination of flavours. I will definitely try this one. This would be a great cold pasta salad too! I am afraid I have hated wholewheat pasta every time I have tried it though :(

Paulina said...

How it all Vegan was the first cookbook I bought when I went veg. I love it too, the recipes couldn't be simpler!

Deborah said...

I have never been able to find the frozen artichokes. But I can find them packed in water, and this dish sounds delicious!

Grace said...

wowza, that's just chock full of good stuff! sometimes i'm forced to eat around certain things, but i'd devour this entire thing and then lick the plate. :)

eatme_delicious said...

sweetpotato: Thanks! :)

VeggieGirl: It's a great cookbook (as is Garden of Vegan)! I highly recommend buying it.

Jaime: It is indeed.

Hannah: Oh I should try it chilled, great idea!

Beth: Well you could always just add the artichokes to your portion. :) Or chop them up finely and maybe he wouldn't mind as much.

Holler: I should try it as a cold salad, definitely. Whole wheat pasta does take some getting used to and I do prefer the regular stuff but rarely eat it anymore.

Paulina: I agree, it's a great cookbook!

Grace: Haha glad it appeals to you.

sarchan said...

I love chickpeas + pasta. This makes me nostalgic for the days when I could check out HIAV from my public library.

Carla said...

If I were capers, where would I be in the grocery store? I tried looking before but couldn't find any.

Katie said...

I am defintely going to make this recipe soon...it looks so good!

I love your blog :)

Helene said...

Beautiful! I love trying new vegan recipes.

Johanna said...

this looks great (although I think there is either something wrong with my eyes or you left the chickpeas off the ingredient list)

I love pasta dishes that are full of lots of flavour and texture other than pasta so this has my vote

Maria said...

I love artichokes! Looks like a good one!

eatme_delicious said...

sarchan: That reminds me that I need to go to the library near my new place to see what they have!

Carla: Hm I think they're near the olives? Which are usually near the tomato sauce or canned tomatoes (I think).

Katie: Aw thank you. :) Hope you like the recipe!

Helene: Thanks! Me too.

Johanna: Oh you're quite right! Thanks, I've added it.

Maria: Thanks!

eatme_delicious said...

Deborah: Hmm your comment got kind of lost! Anyway, packed in water would be good I'm sure. You could always add a bit extra herbs and stuff.

Rachel Ducker said...

This looks delicious I bet the chickpeas give it a great texture too?

Looks very healthy!

Duckey x

eatme_delicious said...

Rachel Ducker: Thanks!

katiez said...

I'm with you - I like more stuff than pasta~
Do you ever try artichoke bottoms? That's what I normally use, as I can find them frozen. And the canned hearts are a little trickier for me (one store carries them, another doesn't)
I've been craving chickpeas lately, too...

Kuv-ee-tha said...

Every so often I come here to drool over your beautiful pics and get insight into some new recipes. I was recently told I have high cholesterol! England is NOT the best place for healthy cooking right now. It can be found, but at a hefty price. Because I wasn't sure how long I'd be staying I haven't purchased many kitchen items either. I miss my old house and my mums utensils!

enough from me. Less talk, more cooking right?? xox Miss u!

Rebecca said...

I made this well over a year ago, but never commented, much to my chagrin. It was really tasty, but I made the classic mistake of dumping the 'sauce' on the pasta instead of adding pasta to the sauce until there is the right ratio. So there wasn't enough sauce, basically. Other than that little error, I loved it. Would love to make it again, but the ingredients are so expensive! So it'll have to wait.