Desperation Pasta with artichokes, zucchini and spinach

April 23, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I was all set to give in to my 2-year-old's somewhat shouty request for "pasta!" Positive I had the ingredients for our pantry staple of puttanesca, I heated the pan, olive oil, dumped in the can of anchovies, minced the garlic, then turned for my trusty can of tomatoes...empty cupboard. I raided the fridge for alternatives and came up with some marinated artichokes, a sad zucchini and some even sadder baby spinach. Shredding the zucchini was also attributable to my 2yo. He won't eat zucchini if the chunks are big enough for him to pick out. It turned out that the shredding added a nice, almost creaminess to the dish. Pasta made from desperation turned into a winner the whole family loved. —KelsoGarza

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can anchovies, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded on a box grater
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichokes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup reserved artichoke liquid
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 cup baby spinach, choppped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • romano cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces dried pasta
  1. Start your pasta according to the package directions. (you will need to reserve 1/2 cup or so of pasta water near the end of cooking)
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the can of anchovies and stir, mashing the anchovies into a paste about 2 min. Add the tomato paste and garlic, stirring 30 sec. Add the zucchini, artichokes, olives, oregano, and the artichoke liquid, increase the heat to medium high, give it a stir then let it saute for a few minutes. It will reduce quite a bit and not really resemble a "sauce."
  3. When the pasta is nearly finished cooking. Add the spinach and stir in 1/2 cup or so of the pasta water into the sauce, and adjust the seasoning. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce and handful of grated romano or parmesan.

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1 Review

AntoniaJames April 24, 2013
Proof positive that necessity is the mother of invention! Love this recipe, love the story -- and oh, how I can relate to your staring at the empty pantry shelf where the needed, thought-you-had ingredient once stood. ;o)