Cherry tomato & artichoke pasta

Made with ripe cherry tomatoes and marinated artichokes, this pasta sauce comes together on the stove top in just 10 minutes. Authentically Italian and packed with flavour, the artichokes blend with the cherry tomatoes to give the sauce its richness. Make sure to select tomatoes that are fresh and ripe. Also, for the marinated artichokes, choose the ones in a glass jar as opposed to a metal can. They taste better and are better for your health.

This pasta dish is a wholesome meal, particularly if using whole wheat or whole grain pasta or spaghetti. For this recipe, I used whole wheat spaghetti. For gluten-free pasta or spaghetti, various options are available in supermarkets, such as brown rice pasta, red lentil, chickpea or quinoa pasta.

Whole wheat or whole grain pasta is healthier than white pasta because it’s packed with complex carbs, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. White pasta is made of refined carbs, meaning that most nutrients have been stripped during processing. Also, eating whole grains or whole wheat has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer, diabetes and obesity.

Cherry tomato & artichoke pasta

2-3 generous servings

INGREDIENTS

  • Pasta of choice ( I used whole wheat spaghetti).
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 cups (300 gr.) fresh, ripe cherry tomatoes 
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 small cooking onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of marinated artichokes (one 285 gr. jar), drained, rinsed and sliced in two or quarters
  • 4-5 basil leaves, chopped fine
  • 1-2 tbsps cashew cream or cream of choice * see note
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup preserved pasta water
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • topping options: grated parmesan, red chilli flakes

* Note: For cashew cream: measure 1/4 cup of raw cashews. Transfer them into a small microwaveable bowl and cover with tap water. Put a lid or a plate on the bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on high. When done, drain all of the hot water and rinse out the cashews with a sieve. Transfer the softened cashews into a small blender bowl and add 1/4 cup of water. Blend for one minute or until creamy. Pour into a small jar and use the cashew cream for cooking. Keeps in fridge for 5-6 days.

PROCEDURE

1. Cook the amount of pasta that you need and according to package. With whole wheat pasta, I cook it 3 minutes above the recommended time. When done, preserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and set aside.

2. While the pasta cooks, heat up on stove top a deep skillet with olive oil. 

3. Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic and onion and sauté on medium-high for one minute. Lower the heat and cover and cook mixing/sautéing often, for about 5-6 minutes.

4. Add the tomato paste and white wine or vegetable broth and mix. Add the artichokes and basil leaves and mix. Cover and cook for a few more minutes on medium heat. 

5. When the tomatoes are very tender and cracked, use a potato masher to break them up further, allowing their juices to mix with the rest of the ingredients. You can keep some tomatoes whole or mash all of them. Keep mixing.

6. Drizzle 1 or 2 tablespoons of cashew cream or cream of choice and mix. Add salt and pepper.

7. Add the cooked pasta and toss.

8. Add 1/4 cup of pasta water or more to obtain a desired smooth texture and toss again. 

9. Serve immediately in big bowls and top with grated parmesan and hot chilli flakes. You can refrigerate leftovers in a container and heat up portions in the microwave.

Enjoy!

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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