I'm always looking for relatively easy and quick to put together meals that have a variety of produce, and a decent amount of protein (usually tofu or beans - I need to try making seitan and to find a convenient place to buy tempeh). This is shockingly only the second time I've made this pasta dish (which has artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, capers, onions and my addition of chickpeas) but I really must make it more often. It's full of flavour, filling, and can be low in fat if you find the artichokes that are packed in water or frozen (I used the oil packed ones but rinsed them with water). And not surprisingly, this dish comes from How It All Vegan, one of the best cookbooks out there. I love their recipes because they're quick, easy, often healthy and you usually have all the ingredients at home.
Capers have antioxidants and anti-cancer properties, though I think there hasn't been a lot of research done into them yet. Sun dried tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopene, an antioxidant also found in watermelons, guava, apricots, red peppers, and pink grapefruits. Artichokes have all sorts of health benefits, that I didn't realize. I've got to eat more! Some of the great things about artichokes are that they're a good source of fibre, potassium, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin C, and they help poor liver function. And apparently they're one of the top sources of antioxidants. And then of course there are onions - protective against cancer, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, etc. (Note: I don't claim to be an expert on nutrition and I'm still learning. If you know any of the information I've posted to be incorrect, please let me know so I can fix it! I think the best nutritional advice though is just try to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, etc.)
If this sounds good, you might also like:
Spaghetti and Beanballs with Onion & Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce
Portabello Fettuccine with Spinach Pesto, Roasted Peppers & Romano Cheese
Pasta with Tofu Red Pepper Sauce
Spinach Walnut Pesto with Smoked Tofu & Whole Wheat Rotini
Artichoke Rotini Pasta
Adapted from How It All Vegan!
This dish serves 4, but if you're like me and prefer more stuff in your pasta, it's more likely to serve 3 when you add less pasta.
wholewheat pasta (enough for 4)
1 onion, chopped
16 oz (474 mL) marinated artichoke hearts, chopped* (save the oil)
6 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
6-8 sundried tomatoes, chopped**
can of chickpeas
3 tbsp capers, drained
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp dried basil
salt & pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)
While pasta is cooking, in a medium saucepan saute the onions in 1 tbsp of the artichoke oil (or other oil) on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the artichokes, garlic, and lemon juice. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced. Scoop out 1/4 cup of pasta water and add to the saucepan, along with the sundried tomatoes, chickpeas, capers, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, until tomatoes and chickpeas are warmed through. Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Add Parmesan if desired.
*You can use the oil from the marinated artichokes to cook with. You can just as easily use whatever oil you want.
**If they're dried, add them to the pasta water a few minutes before the pasta is done cooking.