Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pasta and Stuff

Once upon a time, I was a carb-monster. I was 100% invested in the pasta-for-energy camp and probably ate it 4 days a week. I still get a little drooly when I see a ginormous plate of creamy pasta and sauce.  However, we all know now that too many carbs can be bad too, and that carb energy?  short lived and liable to make you bonk afterwards.  So the pasta-monster has had to be tamed a little in favour of lean protein and lots of veggies.

Despite all of this, there are some nights when the only thing that will satisfy is a big bowl of tortellini, and I have a million and one recipes for things to add to it.  Today's recipe is based on one from the Our Best Bites Cookbook. This cookbook is probably the most-used recipe book in my kitchen.  I discovered their blog a couple of years ago, and couldn't resist the book when it came out. Anyway, back to the recipe.  I have a tendency, when I'm feeling too lazy to hit the grocery store, to grab everything I can find in the cupboard and fridge, then search for recipes that might suit what I've got.  The other night, it was canned tomatoes, canned artichokes and ground turkey. The recipe I used as a base was the Tomato Artichoke Tortellini from the book. It's supposed to be vegetarian, but I couldn't let a good package of ground turkey go back in the freezer.

Put some water on to boil for your pasta - I like tortellini for this, but you could use anything.

Start by browning the meat in a large pan. When it's lost all its pink, add 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced and stir until it smells all garlicky and delicious.

Add in a can of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (my artichokes were not marinated, just canned in brine, so I added some oregano and basil and salt and pepper too). Also, add in a can of diced tomatoes, and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir the whole lot until it's heated through, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the sauce together with the pasta, and grate some parmesan cheese over the top. Serve!

I love a good one pot meal, and this kind of pasta really does the trick when you need a fast, hearty meal.  Notice that almost everything was canned, and hence, very accessible to the boonies cook! 

Meaty Tomato-Artichoke Pasta
(based on recipe from Our Best Bites)

1 lb ground meat (turkey or other)
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper (and oregano and basil if your artichokes aren't marinated) to taste
Parmesan cheese
1 package frozen tortellini

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