Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lemon Pasta with Grape Tomatoes & Grilled Artichokes

Here's what happens when I have the last of my lemons and tomatoes to use! And pasta, of course- it's not a meal without pasta!

I sometimes wonder if anyone cooks pasta as often as I do. Other than Italians, that is. I remember eating pasta at least 3 or 4 times a week as a kid, and I still eat pasta at least twice a week. It feels like I see way too many articles and hear too much from "health experts" about how pasta pretty much needs to be eliminated from your diet in order to be healthy and lose weight. Now to be fair, I've been eating pasta since I was a baby (no really- my parents recall feeding me bowls of pastina in my high chair!) and my body's always been able to process pasta without gaining weight (my non-Italian friends hate me for this). But even then, I have this much to offer pasta-fearing individuals:

- if you're eating a giant plate of white pasta, that's a problem! Eat reasonable portions- I eat more than the recommended cup size serving (really FDA, no one eats that little!), but for goodness sake, don't eat half a box- and with so many heartier whole grain, whole wheat, and spelt varieties, you couldn't eat an entire plateful if you tried!

- watch what you put on your pasta, duh! Many store-bought jarred sauces have extra sugar added in them, and if you think that giant handful of parmesan isn't going to affect you, you're delusional. Make your own sauce, saute some veggies or beans in olive oil, make a sauce from vegetables- there are so many ways to prepare a healthy, filling pasta dinner! I've got plenty of them on this blog. :)

I hate seeing popular "diets" ragging on my beloved dish, but I'll get off my pasta soapbox and get back to the goodness.

The Whats:

* 1/2 box of whole grain spaghetti
* 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup vegan parmesan or grated parmigiano reggiano
* 10 to 12 basil leaves, finely chopped (or 2 tbsp. dried if you can't find fresh!)
* 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
* 3 grilled artichokes, chopped
* 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

The Hows:

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water before draining the pot; return pasta to the pot.

2) While pasta is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, parm, basil, and black pepper. Set aside.

3) Add 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water to the spaghetti, then add lemon-olive oil sauce; toss until well coated, adding extra cooking water to make it more saucy, if desired. Add the tomatoes, artichokes, and onion and toss until distributed. Serve hot.

Craving a heartier addition? I've also made this pasta with some veggie sausage (I like the LightLife brand!) sauteed with 2 tbsp. of rosemary. Equally yummy.


JL goes Vegan said...

YUM! This looks fabulous (and easy!) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

The Friendly Veg said...

Molto Grazie! :)