I adore artichoke hearts, and in a dish like this they taste so light and lemony it's pretty refreshing. This is one of those rare dishes where I would be afraid to change anything because it came out so right. The spiral/corkscrew pasta was really the right choice, because the sauce had enough body to it that it got in the nooks and crannies and stayed there beautifully. I imagine you could garnish it with some basil ribbons without negatively impacting the flavor, but I don't think I'd do much more than that.
Artichoke Pesto Pasta with Chicken
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained (not the marinated ones!)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tsp chopped basil
½ cup of white wine (chardonnay)
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ cup lowfat ricotta cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ box of garden rotelle pasta (the corkscrew kind, aka rotini)
- Cook the pasta in lightly salted water according to package directions.
- While the water is heating up to a boil, in a large skillet turn the heat to medium high and put a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the pan.
- Slice the chicken thinly, then cut the slice into 2 inch pieces.
- With one can of the artichoke hearts, dice it very fine with the basil and garlic to make your faux pesto. Quarter the other can of artichoke hearts so you've got a different texture in the dish.
- Put the chicken in the pan until it’s lightly golden on one side, and turn the pieces over to brown on the other side.
- Add the pesto and the quartered hearts, and stir in the wine and cheeses, sprinkle in the garlic salt and pepper and stir well. I know it almost sounds like a fondue sauce at this point, but what the heck.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain, rinse to cool it off and stop the cooking process, and add to the sauce and toss well.
Recipe makes 2 generous portions.