You know those nights when you come home from work, you have no plans for dinner, you haven’t thawed anything from the freezer, and your veggie crisper has seen better days? This is one of my favorite back-pocket recipe when I’m in a Pantry Pinch. All shelf-stable ingredients, fast and easy, satisfying and delicious!
This is the heart of it! Red pepper flakes, olive oil, and chicken not pictured. I’m a huge fan of Trader Joe’s canned artichoke hearts; they’re firm but delicate, and they just seem like they’re extra high quality compared to some other brands I’ve struck out on. Grant and I both love artichokes, so I always keep a can in my pantry.
You’ll only be getting two pans dirty: your pasta pot, and the skillet where you’ll do your sauteing and simmering. Annnnd that’s all you’ll be doing… boiling pasta, sauteeing the garlic/red pepper flakes/artichokes/chicken, and taking a moment to simmer some crushed tomatoes onto the layers of flavor that you’ve so simply built. Toss it all together, garnish with herbs and cheese if you’re feeling fancy, and DEVOUR. That’s all there is to it!
I like this dish best with chicken – a couple of already-cooked chicken breasts are a great simple supplement to the pantry ingredients. Or if you’re lacking any leftovers, you can take an extra moment to cook raw slices of chicken before adding the artichokes. Or maybe even canned tuna, if you’re into that kind of thing and want to keep this exclusively from the pantry? Or if you’d rather go meatless, the spicy, garlicky tomato-artichoke sauce is definitely flavorful enough to stand on its own. Options, people!
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s a balanced way to eat pasta. By tossing our noodles with lean protein and fibrous vegetables, we get a more nutrient-dense meal and less of a glucose spike than we would get from the pasta alone. It’s a win-win situation.
6 oz. whole-grain pasta
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 15 oz. can of artichoke hearts packed in water (or thawed frozen artichoke hearts)
2 cooked chicken breasts, thinly sliced (optional)
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
salt to taste (be aware of the saltiness of your artichokes!)
grated parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packaging. When the pasta is al dente, drain it in a colander and set aside.
While waiting for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, place a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Add the artichoke hearts and chicken (if using) and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste the sauce for seasoning, and add salt if needed.
Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. Garnish with fresh herbs and grated Parmesan and serve immediately.