Spinach, Tomato, & Artichoke Pasta Sauce
Creamy, savory, flavorful, and fresh! These are the best words to describe this delicious Spinach, Tomato, Artichoke, and Chicken pasta sauce! It is packed with fresh tomatoes, fresh spinach, marinated artichokes, and shredded chicken. I think it is the most perfect pasta sauce for summer!
Our garden is overrun with spinach so I figured it was time to put it to use, and this dish was the perfect solution. If you are looking for a delicious, fresh, summery pasta dish, this may just be the one!
First melt the butter and olive oil together in a sauce pan over medium heat - use a pan with high-'ish' sides and a wide bottom. Then add the onion. Saute the onion until it is translucent, add some salt to extract the yummy juices! Once the onion has been cooking for approx 8 minutes, go ahead and add the tomatoes. It is important to use fresh tomatoes in this dish, I used vine ripened tomatoes. Stir them in with the onions, add salt and a hint of pepper, and let the mixture simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes. It will go through a very juicy, wet phase, as the tomatoes cook down, and then the mixture will begin to reduce and thicken up. Once there is little to no juice in the mixture, it is ready for the next step.
After simmering for approximately 20 (or more) minutes, add the tsp of chicken stock powder. This adds a nice flavour to the mixture without adding any of the juices of liquid stock. If you do not have powdered stock, it is ok to leave this step out.
Add the flour and mix well. The mixture should become somewhat paste like and be very thick. Let the flour cook out for a bit, to remove the flavor. Continue to stir the mixture for approximately 3 minutes. Then add the chopped artichoke hearts and shredded chicken. Mix them in, and allow the mixture to become cohesive and fully incorporated. At this point, there should be very little structure to the tomatoes, and they should resemble more of a paste.
Once everything is incorporated, it is time to add the cream! Mix it in well, and watch the colour of the sauce change. I love seeing the transformation from deep reddish orange to a lighter, creamier, orange colour. You can use a whisk for this part, but a wooden spoon does the trick just fine. Bring the mixture to a bubble over high heat, and reduce to a simmer. You will want this to simmer for around 15 minutes, but remember to stir every so often. It is important to make sure that the cream does not burn. This part of the process is kind of like reducing the already thick cream.
Once the sauce has been cooking for a while, add the handfuls of spinach. You may need to add one handful at a time, cover the pot, and allow it to wilt. This will allow for more room to add the rest of the spinach. After all of the spinach has been added, wilted, and stirred in, the sauce is ready!
I served the sauce on a bed of al dente Gemelli pasta. Feel free to use which ever pasta you like, but I find the sauce suits a shorter pasta, rather than something longer like spaghetti or fettuccine. Garnish with a few cracks of fresh black pepper and dig in!
Let me know if you try this recipe, and be sure to come back for more!
Thanks so much for reading,