Motherhood has changed me. We just spent an evening discussing life insurance and wills. I wake up before eight a.m. without an alarm. I no longer pee alone. I don’t shower until noon most days (if I shower at all). And I cook every meal while simultaneously pulling my child out of cabinets, trash cans, and the wash machine … or out from between my legs.
My mom snapped this picture of Jackson last time she was here. He pulls up on my pant legs right behind me and completely immobilizes me. I can’t turn around or squat down to get him or he’ll fall over. Cooking like this is challenging to say the least.
So I love a meal that is quick and easy, but tastes deliciously gourmet. This pasta sauce is exactly that. It takes about five minutes to make and if you pour it over hot pasta, you don’t even have to simmer it. As a bonus, Jackson likes it too, so I can give him little bites of my dinner without making a different meal for him. Mommy and baby approved!
Did I mention there is no cream in this creamy pasta? It’s almost guilt-free, minus the two tablespoons of olive oil. Another bonus for this post baby body!
Creamy Artichoke Basil Sauce
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 T. olive oil
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, reserve liquid
1 1/2 roasted red bell peppers (jarred or make your own*)
A palm full of basil, roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
8 oz pasta (I used whole wheat spiral pasta, but any kind you like would be fine)
In a small skillet, heat garlic and olive oil until garlic is just starting to brown. In a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients including the sauteed garlic and olive oil. Add reserved liquid** from the artichokes (I think I used about a half a cup) to thin out sauce to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
Toss with pasta immediately out of the boiling water. Garnish with a little chopped basil if desired.
*Making your own roasted peppers is easy. Just placing them directly on on a gas burner flame rotating it a few times (like this) or on a pan under the broiler until charred. Then put it in a bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap for a about five minutes. Rub off most of the skin with a damp paper towel. Voila, roasted peppers!
**Pasta water would work great too if you accidentally forget to reserve the liquid from the artichokes. Yes, I speak from experience.
Stir in chickpeas, sauteed veggies, chicken or Italian sausage (or the vegan versions of these)