Easy, Elegant Artichokes

I have a soft spot for artichokes. It is a beautiful vegetable with it's subtly spiked, layered leaves and deliciously rich heart. Adding artichokes to a dish makes me feel like I'm instantly upgrading meal time (fancy fare as I like to call it). This simple sauce starring canned artichokes makes pasta perfection and is perfect for date night or having friends over. 

Artichoke Pasta Sauce

Serves 2

1 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup pasta water*
Salt & pepper to taste
+ Pasta of choice, boiled until al dente in well salted water

In a large skillet, cook the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until it softens and starts to become golden brown. Stir in the artichokes and cook together for a few minutes. Then push the artichokes to one half of the skillet and melt the butter on the other half. Once it has melted, stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Mix together with the artichokes before adding in the wine. Heat until the wine evaporates, stirring occasionally. Stir in the milk. Once the milk becomes thick, stir in pasta water. You can add more or less depending on how thin you want the sauce. 

Remove from heat and stir in pasta of choice. With a sauce this delicious, I prefer to use a simple whole wheat spaghetti. Add a healthy grind of black pepper and add salt as desired. Also free to add other veggies, like frozen peas, asparagus, leeks, etc. 

*Pasta water? Yes, pasta water! After pasta has been added to boiling water, it begins releasing starch. The resultant salty, starchy water helps thicken and flavor sauces. 

This is a vegetarian recipe, but it can be made vegan by swapping the butter for Earth Balance and using plain unsweetened soy milk. On the other side of things, you could make it carnivore friendly with mini meatballs or lemon basil chicken. I hope you enjoy!

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