As the very new, very inexperienced mom of a three week old who did not have the foresight to make even a single freezer meal, this one-pot pasta is my Official New Best(est) Friend. Times infinity. In fact, if you're the mom of an ANY year old, or just a person who likes to get dinner on the table in under thirty minutes, I pretty much guarantee that this is about to be life-changing.
I first encountered the one-pot pasta a few summers ago when a version involving tomatoes, basil, and loads of garlic made the rounds after it was published on Martha Stewart's website. If I'm being honest (and I always am), that recipe was pretty lackluster. A good easy weeknight dinner, to be sure, but nothing special. However, what it lacked in flavor, it made up for in potential and inspiration.
The concept of a one-pot pasta is so simple - just mix all of the ingredients in a pot and cook until pasta is tender - yet it lends itself to all sorts of variations. This particular rendition is a play on everyone's favorite spinach and artichoke dip. In place of tomatoes and basil, spinach and artichokes are simmered away with the pasta while white wine and evaporated milk are substituted for equal volumes of water for added flavor and creaminess. Parmesan cheese and lemon juice are stirred in at the end to help the sauce thicken into something akin to an alfredo. Feel free to serve it with extra cheese, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper - my favorite "not necessary", but always welcome pasta accompaniments.
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 Vidalia onions thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1 pound frozen artichoke hearts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 3 ½ cups water
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- In a large pot, combine the pasta, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, baby spinach, artichoke hearts, olive oil, salt, black pepper, water, wine, and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and let simmer, stirring often, until the noodles are cooked to desired consistency and the sauce has thickened, about 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, stir again, and then serve warm.