Spinach Artichoke Dip Pasta

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We have kind of a weekly menu routine around here (look for a post on this soon) and Sunday is pasta night.  The whole idea behind choosing that meal for that day is that pasta should be an easy, no‐brainer meal that can just be thrown together in minutes and without much thought.

I suppose, if we ate pasta sauce from a jar, this would merely involve grabbing two items from the pantry and heating it all up, easy‐peasy.

But we make our sauce from scratch and, while not difficult, this involves some thought ahead of time, regardless of whether it's time to make a new batch or we just have to pull some out of the freezer to thaw.

And since we're usually busy or away from the house on Sundays, this seemingly simple step becomes a bit more complicated than it has to be.

So that leaves me with the situation of coming up with some amazing pasta dish on the fly, with whatever ingredients we have on hand, that don't have to be considered ahead of time.  Sometimes this goes really, really well and I come up with a new favorite dish.

And sometimes, we eat spaghetti with oil and pepper.

But the other night, I came up with a creation that turned out to be delicious, look fancy, and was even super simple:  spinach artichoke dip pasta!

This seriously could not have been any easier.  You may remember from my post on spinach artichoke dip that we love the stuff, but I didn't want to just recreate my dip and dump it all over the pasta.  Besides, we were out of almonds, so I had to get creative and think of a new way to make this dish be all dairyfree.

I just took a large jar of artichokes, a bag of frozen spinach, some pressed garlic, and added in some coconut milk to my cooked pasta and it was delicious.  I even sprinkled some crushed red pepper on top, just to make it look fancy.

This really doesn't even warrant a "recipe," but I'll make an attempt at it, just so all of you concrete sequentials out there are happy:

What You Need:

Artichokes  How many?  Um, I actually used half of a ginormous can, which was about 2 pounds, dry weight, but it really depends on how many artichokes you want and what you have available.

Spinach  I used a bag of frozen spinach, because we were out of fresh.  Heck, even if we'd had the fresh stuff, I probably would've been too lazy to wilt it all, even though it's not that much of a pain to do.  I would use a pound of the stuff, either way, but it probably depends on how much spinach you want and what you have available.

Garlic  You know, I don't even pay attention to how many cloves I use.  I just grab a handful from my bag of peeled garlic in the freezer, and go.  But we like garlic.  A lot of garlic.  You might want to start with 2 or 3 cloves and work up from there.

Coconut Milk  To make pasta creamy without using cream, we use this.  It doesn't have an overwhelming coconut flavor and really does work just like thick cream in most recipes.

Crushed Red Pepper  Because we like things with a little kick and it also makes everything look fancy.

What You Do:

1.  Drain the artichokes, then coarsely chop them up and add them to a large bowl.

2.  Thaw your frozen spinach, or wilt your fresh stuff, then add it to the artichokes.

3.  Use one of these to press your garlic into the bowl.

4.  Add in your cooked pasta (the heat from it warms everything else up).

5.  Squeeze out some coconut milk, a little at a time, and stir.  Stop adding coconut milk when the pasta concoction has reached the consistency you like.  I probably used about half of the box of milk, because I wanted just enough to make all the yummy flavors to bind to the pasta.

6.  Sprinkle a little crushed red pepper on top and don't tell anyone that this fancy dish was really so easy!

Do you like spinach artichoke dip?  Have you thought about making it into a pasta dish like this?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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