Spinach Linguine with Basil Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes


Serves 4

( Consider making the pesto while you wait for the noodle water to boil to help cut down on time needed )


* 1/2 lb spinach linguine

* 2 Tb olive oil

* 1 medium-size red onion, sliced into thin half moons

* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

* 2 Tb white cooking wine, vegetable broth, or water

* 1/2 tsp salt

* Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper

* 1 recipe Basil-Cilantro Pesto ( see below )

* 1 ( 15 oz ) can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced in half ( don't use the jarred kind in oil, it's expensive and too oily for this; get the kind that comes in brine )


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the linguine according to the package directions, usually about 10 minutes. Once you've added the pasta to the water, proceed with the recipe.

2. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion in olive oil until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a minute more. Add the white wine, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute or two. Lower the heat to low. At this point, the linguine should be done.

3. When the linguine is ready, don't drain it. Use a pasta spoon to transfer it to the pan in batches. This is a good method because you can use the pasta water to thin out the pesto and make sure that everything gets evenly coated. When you add one batch, add a bit of the pesto, too, and using the pasta spoon, saute to coat. Proceed with the rest of the pasta and pesto until you've added all of it. If it seems dry, add extra splashes of pasta water.

4. Add the artichoke hearts and toss to coat. Cook gently over low heat just until the artichokes are heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately!

Basil Cilantro Pesto


* 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves

* 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro

* 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds

* 2 cloves garlic, crushed

* 2 Tb fresh lemon juice ( from about 1/2 lemon )

* 1/2 tsp salt

* 1/4 cup olive oil


1. Place the basil, cilantro, almonds, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor and blend until pasty, scraping down the sides occasionally.

2. With the food processor on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until relatively smooth and no large chunks of almonds are left. If you don't have a food processor and are using a blender, then just add the olive oil at the end, since many blenders aren't equipped with an opening to drizzle into.