I think pasta was invented for busy cooks….
For most of my adult life I have been a stay at home, homeschooling mom. I loved it. It was what I felt created to do. I had the freedom to spend all afternoon in my kitchen creating amazing dishes for my family. That was then, this is now. Now, I am a work at home, homeschooling, single mom. That means all of the responsibilities I always had are still there but I have added the responsibility for the income. Working at home is not a party… There are more interruptions, and for someone like me …well I don’t put my life in boxes well so I do everything at the same time. Not very efficient!
Complaining? Not at all… just explaining that even though I am not gone from 8-6 I understand! Sometimes I rush downstairs at 7 p.m. and frantically look in the fridge for ingredients… Once or twice I have thought about setting the clock back a couple of hours! You ever feel that way?
Yep. That’s when it is time for pasta. Pasta cooks in under 10 minutes and you can throw together almost anything to create an amazing sauce. Add a baguette warmed to crispy perfection in the oven, a crunchy salad with your favorite dressing, and you have a meal that you can be proud of.
A couple of weeks ago, after church we went to a local Italian restaurant. It is a family owned place not a chain and I had never been there although I had heard that it was good. The menu was more extensive than I expected and I was intrigued by the artichoke and lemon pasta. When it came I knew that I would recreate the recipe and make it even better.
Yep. I did just that. This can be an amazingly fast meal if you will plan ahead and grill the chicken on the weekend. Seriously, if you heat up your grill just go ahead and grill chicken for all of the casseroles, salads, and other dishes you will be making during the week. It takes very little time and it allows you to create meals in nano-seconds. Teach your self to prep ahead, just like the restaurants do. You will be amazed at the time you save.
The flavor of this is bright, clean, and light – even with the cream sauce. You can use canned artichokes or fresh ones if you have them available. Just steam the fresh ones until tender and chop the hearts for the recipe. You will need about 3-5 artichokes if using fresh. Really, can you ever have too many artichokes in a recipe? I think not. You can save the steamed leaves to eat dipped in aoili as an appetizer if you like. Here is a good guide to cooking and eating artichokes.
Remember that lemons and other produce can vary in flavor so although this recipe may call for the juice of one lemon you may need more or less depending on the size and tang of the lemon you have. Always just taste the juice to determine the flavor.
Have everything ready so you can serve this as soon as it is done.
I love this pasta serving bowl – and it comes in several colors.
images: marye audet (c) 2010 please do not use without permission.