Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pasta with Artichokes and Basil Pesto and Toasted Ciabatta with Balsamic Syrup

I’m just about packed up and ready for my flight Friday morning. It’ll be really nice to get to see so many family members, and a few friends too, over the weekend. For my final cooked meal of the week I decided to use up the remainder of my frozen pesto in a super quick toss-together pasta dish – that’s full of vibrant flavor!

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  • 8 oz whole wheat rotini, cooked
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper

Sauté artichokes and garlic in a non-stick pan. Toss artichokes with boiled pasta, mix in pesto and enough starchy pasta water to loosen. Season with salt and pepper. Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

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Toasted Ciabatta with Balsamic Syrup

I’ve been making this baguette topper for several years, it thickens up in minutes and the deep flavor is a real winner. Best of all I love that it’s ingredients I always have on hand, nothing too fancy.

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  • 1/4 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 (1/2-inch) thick slices ciabatta bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Boil the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until reduced by half, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Toast the bread slices. Spread the butter over the toasts. Arrange the toasts on a platter. Drizzle the reduced balsamic syrup over the toasts then sprinkle with a little more sugar, and serve.

Recipe from Everyday Italian

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Last night I chopped and froze 5 lbs of fresh rhubarb. I just rinse it in cold water, chop into bite size pieces, portion into 1 lb freezer bags…and freeze!

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And for dessert…a cinnamon raisin British muffin spread with natural peanut butter and topped with two large sliced marshmallows. The dogs always get a marshmallow when the bag is out, the LOVE them and if you’ve never watched a dog eat one…you’re really missing it out. It’s hilarious to watch their reaction to the soft, squishy texture.

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Have a lovely weekend, I’ll see you all next week!

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KLM said...

I'll be there for dinner in 2 hours!! ;)

Steph (I am Bee) said...

what a simple, yummy pasta dish and i looovve me some artichokes!

Sara said...

Looks great. I love having fresh pesto in my freezer. Have a great trip!

nick said...

For a "quick" meal this looks damn tasty.

Freezing pesto is smart, sma-smart, smart! I think Sara puts hers into an ice cube tray to set and then transfers them into plastic bags.

Anonymous said...

wow! this sounds like the BOMB! I love how simple the ingredients are, but yet so intrinsic in taste! the balsamic syrup sounds amazing!

Leslie said...

I have pesto in my fridge...dinner! It all looks awesome. Hope you have a great trip!

Amy said...

I lo-lo-love pesto! Have a great trip--looking forward to seeing what you get from Brinkley!