Penne With Artichoke Hearts, Winter Stew and Rye Sourdough
Today I was stretching for something easy for lunch (our main meal of the day) and spotted a lovely can of artichoke hearts. We adore artichokes in any form! So I concocted the following dish, bearing in mind that we are now embarked on a fat-free salt-free regime which requires some adjustments in ingredients (for us anyway) to distract attention from the two items that are 'missing' in such a recipe. I find a sweetish taste (as in red bell peppers) helps to make up for the lack of salt, and added herbs do the rest.
PENNE WITH ARTICHOKE HEARTS
For 2 persons. Can obviously be doubled, using a whole can of artichoke hearts and increasing the other ingredients appropriately.
120 g. penne, cooked according to package instructions 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, rehydrated (in hot water for 1/2 hour, soaking liquid retained) 1 small onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 large plum tomato, roughly chopped 1 tsp dried basil 1/4 tsp crushed chilies, or to taste 1 red bell pepper (half to be sliced very thinly, half to be blended - see below) 2 or 3 canned artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
Put a large skillet over medium-high heat with a little water to ‘saute’ the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and stir well for a minute or two and then the chopped tomato, basil and chilies. Add the sundried tomatoes, chopped, but save the liquid for cooking as needed. Cook on medium heat until the fresh tomatoes have broken down.You may need to add a little water or liquid from the sundried tomatoes.
Slice half of your red bell pepper very thinly and set aside until the tomato mixture is almost cooked.
Chop the remainder of the bell pepper and add a little water to liquify in a blender.
When your penne is almost cooked and the tomato mix is almost ready, add the finely sliced red bell pepper to the tomato mix and stir well, raising the heat a little if necessary to slightly soften the bell pepper. Then add the artichoke hearts and the liquified red bell pepper from your blender jar and heat through.
Drain your penne and add to the skillet, stirring to mix well and to coat the penne in all those lovely juices.
Serve on plates or in pasta bowls (with a ‘cheezy’ topping if you like vegan cheez).
Now yesterday's lunch was a 'Farewell To Winter' Stew, with a white potato, sweet potato, some cauliflower and broccoli, onion and garlic and celery and mushrooms all cooked together with some Indian spices picked not quite at random from my spice rack. We had it over couscous with a hunk of the RYE SOURDOUGH I had made the day before. This bread's recipe needs some adjusting, as it happens, before I share it here. I veganized a lacto recipe from the net, but something happened with the proportions of flour. Either I was distracted and measured incorrectly, or the recipe has a typo. Nevertheless, I adjusted as I made it (it was far too wet) and it turned out very nicely, if a bit dry (I think it should be cooked at a lower temperature). I'll report back next time I make it!