Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Meatless Monday Penne with Artichokes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

"Meatless Monday" is a catch phrase that I have been seeing a lot of lately.  As a way to add variety to my meal plan, if not to eat healthier and find alternate sources of protein and fiber, I have been making an attempt at meatless meals every now and then.  Typically, my ventures remain somewhat safe and include pasta, and, admittedly, I am always a bit concerned that we will miss the meat or feel unsatisfied.  This pasta dish is perfectly filling and satisfying, and absolutely delicious.  My kids are beginning to enjoy artichokes, and my husband (our family's prime meat-eater) raved about it the first time I made it, leading me to add it to our regular rotation.  As a side note - I find that it is fine to skip the parsley, but you cannot skip the panko, which adds a lot to the flavor and texture of the dish (and is the part my kids like the best).

  • 12 oz uncooked penne (use whole-wheat for additional health benefits)
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 15 oz can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained well and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs (I use regular panko bread crumbs)
  • chopped Italian Parsley (I omit this, generally)
  1. Cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water according to package directions.  Drain pasta and return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant but not browned. Add broth, artichoke hearts, beans, and oregano.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add artichoke mixture to pasta in pot.  Stir in tomatoes and salt.  Cover and keep warm.
  4. Wipe out skillet.  Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add panko crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until toasted.  Divide pasta mixture among serving plates; top with panko and parsley.

Difficulty: easy
Time: 20-25 minutes
Source: Parents magazine, January 2013, p 63

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