Gluten Free Pasta with Artichokes

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Nothing beats fresh local veggies, but those are pretty hard to come by in the winter months. And even if you socked away a few of your summer CSA goodies in the freezer, the supplies may be dwindling.

There are a couple of things I always have in the freezer – peas and artichoke hearts. They are terrific additions to risottos and pastas any time of year. I haven’t done a pasta dish for the blog in a while. Haven’t made one at all in quite awhile. So the other night as I stood in the kitchen feeling a bit uninspired but very hungry I remembered the box of artichoke hearts on the freezer door.

Please keep in mind these are frozen artichoke hearts and nothing more. These are not the poor jarred hearts drowning in oil and a marinade that makes those old powdered Good Seasons packets seem good – my apologies to the 1970s and yes I ate my fair share of those dressings! Yuk!

This dish comes together very quickly and makes for a great weeknight comfort meal. One note if you are not used to cooking with gluten free pasta. I tend to like the quinoa pastas the best, they seem to cook to a true al dente a bit better than some of the rice pastas, but this is truly personal preference. The key to all of the gluten free pastas is constantly monitoring the cooking. These go from perfect to mush in a flash, so until you get used to the timing I urge you to do lots of taste testing as it is cooking.

Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Pancetta

1 box quinoa spaghetti or other gluten free pasta

3 pieces pancetta or uncured bacon

1 box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained

1 leek

1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine

red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

olive oil

fresh parsley

Romano or Parmesan cheese

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Generously salt large pot of boiling water. Add pasta, stir and cook to al dente.

Heat large saute pan over med-high heat. Add 1-2 TB olive oil and diced pancetta. Cook until crispy.

Clean leek, slice in half lengthwise and then into thin half moons. Add to pancetta, add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until leeks are soft.

Dice artichoke hearts and add to pan, heat through.

Add vermouth and cook until bubbly and reduced. Add a ladle of pasta water to create desired amount of sauce. Add cooked pasta to pan, remove from heat and toss. Top with chopped fresh parsley and a generous amount of Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.

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