Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Artichoke Pasta

It's raining and 39 degrees. It's supposed to turn to snow later tonight. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about this whole "winter" thing. Yeah, I'm putting quotation marks around winter as if it doesn't really exist. It's part of my positive attitude thing.

I knew it was supposed to rain this afternoon so I brought my gym bag to work. I had every intention of going to the gym to get in my run on the dreaded treadmill. I even had a relatively positive attitude about that too, you know, considering it's the treadmill. Then however, I left work and the wind was blowing the rain sideways, the temperature had dropped 25 degrees from when I got to work, and the traffic was terribly slow. My positive attitude quickly faded as I sat in my car with wet clothes thinking about fighting my way through the wind and rain into the YMCA. I drove home and opted to fight Jillian through a Shred session rather than fighting the wind and rain. She won.

Thank goodness for the slow cooker. Tonight's dinner might have been one of my favorites so far. The easiest one since practically all ingredients were canned, and full of flavor. C even went back for seconds on the sauce despite being out of pasta.

Slow Cooker Artichoke Pasta
from A Year of Slow Cooking

3 cans Italian tomatoes (diced or stewed, with juice)
2 cans artichoke hearts in water, drained and lightly chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (to add later)
1 lb freshly cooked pasta (we had some mushroom flavor linguini we got from a specialty store so I used that, but anything will work.)

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the tomatoes in your crockpot. Lightly chop the drained artichoke hearts and toss them in. Add garlic and olives. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. You could also add chicken, in which case cook on low 6 to 7 hours, or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in heavy cream and hot, cooked pasta before serving.
My slow cooker only has 2 options for the low setting, 8 hours and 10 hours. I went ahead and set it for 8 hours. I think it turned out just fine.

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