This Pasta With Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes looks elegant and special, but is surprisingly quick and easy to make. You can do this in 30 minutes or less – with the right ingredients!
At the recent Southeast Produce Council Expo, I got a chance to meet up with some old friends and favorite produce folks. Melissa’s Produce shared with me several new products they developed with the goal of making it easier for you to incorporate a variety of otherwise “high-maintenance” ingredients into your everyday meals and fast-paced lifestyle. One of those is their new ready-to-eat Steamed Artichoke Hearts.
Ah, Spring! Just the word “spring” makes you want to start getting back out into the world, get your hands dirty in the garden, and eat just a little bit lighter. You want to taste the season. Artichokes just scream “SPRING!” at the top of their little lungs, don’t they? And they’re delicious in salads, fried, or lightly pickled. And with pasta!
But when it comes right down to it, artichokes fall into the category of “armored food”, like stone crabs and lobsters (not that I eat that stuff anyway, but by way of illustration). That is, as beautiful and delicious as they are, it takes a lot of time and energy to work your way down and through the sharp pointy bits to get to the good stuff. By the time you get there, you’re exhausted and left with a pile of leaves fit only for the composter, and a little knob that you hope you got all the fuzz off of, because that stuff will choke you. Hence, arti-choke. All kidding aside, that fuzzy part is called the “choke”, but it’s pretty descriptive.
These steamed artichoke hearts from Melissa’s are already cleaned, cut, and cooked, containing nothing but the vegetable and a bit of salt, vacuum-sealed and ready to go. I need to keep these in my refrigerator all the time.
This recipe serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are.
Pasta With Artichokes & Tomatoes
- 1 pound package of your favorite pasta
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) butter
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely
- One package Melissa’s Steamed Artichoke Hearts
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Balsamic vinegar to finish
- shredded or grated Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)
Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Remove 1/2 cup of the pasta water before you drain the cooked pasta, and set aside. I just dip a heat-proof glass measuring cup into the water and measure out what I need. Watch your fingers! No scalding allowed!
While the pasta water is coming to a boil and you’re waiting for the pasta to cook:
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, stir to make sure that they are combined.
Add the chopped garlic to the pan and cook slowly (reduce heat to medium, if necessary), for 2 minutes.
Remove the artichoke hearts from the packaging and blot any excess moisture with a paper towel. Add the artichokes to the pan, stirring occasionally, until some of the edges are lightly golden.
Add the halved tomatoes to the pan and cook an additional two minutes, just until they soften slightly. Add the reserved pasta water to the pan and stir. Add salt and freshly ground black or green pepper (yes, Virginia, there are green peppercorns out there!), to your taste.
Turn off the heat and add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss gently to combine.
Serve family-style, or in individual portions. If serving family-style, finish by drizzling some balsamic vinegar and sprinkling the Parmesan over the whole dish. If serving individual portions, everyone can add the balsamic and parm to their own taste.
Double or more, as needed. We’re flexible.
This is a great little dish to throw together if you have last-minute guests, or you’re in a hurry. It’s simple but pretty, and really? Who expects artichokes?
I was given a package of Melissa’s Steamed Artichokes (ask your produce manager), at the Southeast Produce Council’s Expo, by the company. This is not a sponsored post, but I love their products and find all sorts of different uses for them, as I know you will. All opinions, recipes, text, and photographs are my own and original to RJ Flamingo and her real-life alter-ego, and are copyrighted materials, not to be reproduced in any form without express permission from the author. Links contained in this post may be affiliate links to my Amazon store. If you start here and buy anything on Amazon, I get a small commission. This does not increase your price, but does help me pay my web host. And buy food. Thank you for your support!