Here’s a quick pasta dish that’s as delicious as it is healthy. It’s all done in a single skillet, aside from boiling the pasta, and you can vary the recipe in several ways. Serves four.
One 8 oz. box spaghetti, linguine or fettucine
One 16 oz package frozen artichoke quarters
Juice of one lemon and zest.
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped, or to taste
1/2 c. slivered almonds, or to taste
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper as desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet that is heat-proof enough for broiling (cast iron is best), combine artichoke quarters, tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Add olive oil and lemon juice and toss. Add thyme and any desired salt/pepper, and toss again.
Place skillet in preheated oven and set timer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, start large kettle to boil for pasta. Be sure to add enough salt to water. It should be as salty as the ocean.
Toast your almonds at 375 degrees, preferably in a toaster oven, so you can keep an eye on them. Look away and you’ll burn them. They should be golden, which only takes about 5 minutes. When done, take out and set aside.
When 15 minutes has elapsed on your oven timer, take out artichoke mix, zest lemon over it, toss, and return to oven.
When your oven timer has gone off, your pasta water should be boiling. Add pasta to water and follow package directions for cook time. Meanwhile, turn oven to broil in order to caramelize artichoke mix. Set timer for 8-10 minutes, but check to make sure you don’t burn veggies.
When pasta is almost done– about a minute short — remove skillet from oven, and set on stovetop over lowest heat. Add two ladles of pasta water, then drain pasta in colander over sink. While pasta is still dripping, throw it into skillet, add almonds, and toss thoroughly until veggies are evenly distributed.
Distribute pasta mix on four plates and top with parmesan cheese.
Some variations: add a couple of tablespoons of capers. Use pistachios instead of almonds. Use oregano instead of thyme. Use romano cheese instead of parmesan. Crumble bacon over mix.