Spinach-Artichoke-Basil Penne

Chef’s Notes: The original recipe was difficult to follow because it didn’t give exact measurements for a lot of the ingredients. The sauce I created based on my guesstimates was not adequate for the amount of pasta. In this post, I’ve listed the ingredient amounts that I used, but reduced the amount of pasta to what I think would be a more accurate amount. I also substituted basil for the mint.

Spinach-Artichoke-Basil Penne
(Serves 4-6)

12 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , divided
1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
5 oz. fresh spinach, stems trimmed
1 shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 C. chicken stock
1/2 C. fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/4 C. lightly toasted slivered almonds
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large clove garlic, minced and mashed up into paste with a little salt
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up it up to a boil to cook the pasta, season with some salt and cook to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water.

Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in medium nonstick skillet. Add artichokes to heat through and lightly brown at edges.

In the bowl of a food processor add the shallot, 1/2 cup chicken stock, spinach leaves, basil, almonds and salt and pepper, and garlic. Turn processor on and add in about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.

Scrape the pesto into the artichoke pan and loosely cover with foil. Bring mixture to a simmer over low to medium-low heat and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the reserved pasta cooking water, the pasta and the cheese. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce and heat for 1 minute. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.


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