Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Whole Wheat Penne

I actually tried to cook a Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meal. I followed the recipes almost exactly from a recent episode. She made thinly pounded chicken rolled up with asparagus and cheese served with a lemon dijon pan sauce and a pasta side dish that was supposed to taste like a healthier version of spinach/artichoke dip (it didn't).

Overall, the meal was pretty good (the best parts were the lemon dijon pan sauce and the artichokes) and it was loaded with iron, fiber, protein, and other important vitamins and minerals. If I were to make this again, I would NOT do the rollup business (I honestly felt ridiculous buying asparagus in November), and just bake the chicken breasts and make that yummy sauce to go on top. Also, I would definitely use 2 cans of artichokes and less pasta.

I have no idea if the dinner was ready in under 30 minutes, but it couldn't have been too far off. Rachael may be one of the most irritating people on the planet, but the meal was simple, healthy, pretty, and tasty. Here's how I would adapt the recipe for the pasta to my taste if I were to make it again.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1 big handful toasted almonds
1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
1 shallot, diced
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 bag or box whole wheat pasta
grated parmesan cheese

Blitz first 6 ingredients (through oil/salt/pepper) in a food processor and set aside.

Add artichokes to a non-stick skillet with a little olive oil and heat through and start to brown.

Cook whole wheat pasta according to package directions. Save a cup of the cooking liquid before draining. Mix pesto with reserved cooking liquid, add pasta, artichokes, and cheese. Mix together and serve with baked chicken breasts topped with lemon dijon pan sauce.

Lemon Dijon pan sauce
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 - 3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp dijon mustard
lemon zest and juice

Melt butter in skillet, add flour and cook 2 minutes. Add stock and mustard and whisk to get rid of lumps and thicken. Remove from heat and add lemon zest and juice. Serve over chicken or fish.


  1. I'd e-mail you back, but I don't know your e-mail, so I'll comment back.

    No prob on the link - gotta give credit when credit is due :) I wasn't sure if the goat cheese would work in the muffin tins, but it was great. Thanks!

  2. Dinner was great last night! I would agree on more artichokes - they were great!

  3. What else could one use the lemon dijon sauce on if one doesn't eat chicken - any ideas? The pasta looks fabulous! Can't wait to try!!

    Alicia- you so damn lucky!!!

    XOXO ladies!

  4. Cass! The sauce is so good! It would be fabulous on top of pan seared halibut or tofu, or even roasted brussels sprouts (for you) and green beans (for Ben). It's reminiscent of the sauce in the mustard dill fish, only better. Hell, I'd even sop it up with a good crusty baguette and be happy ;)