Monday, January 31, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Di...Pasta?

Temperatures dropped a bit today so I found myself craving a hearty, warm dinner. Unfortunately, I didn't get out of work until late-ish so I also needed something quick. Tonight's dinnertime experiment:

Spinach Artichoke Penne
1/2 lb penne, cooked according to box
1 c artichoke hearts, chopped
2 1/2 c baby spinach
1 small shallot, chopped
2 links chicken sausage (I used Aidells Artichoke & Garlic), chopped
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp dry white wine
1 tbsp olive oil
light sprinkling chili flakes
slight dusting parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Brown chicken sausage (I like mine pretty brown so they aren't too mushy) and stir in shallot. Cook shallot until translucent and add white wine. Cook for 1 minute before stirring in tomato and artichokes. Cook for 2-3 minutes and slowly stir in spinach. Cook until spinach begins to wilt, stir in chili flakes, parmesan, salt and pepper. Pour over penne and mix well. Serve immediately.

If you salt your pasta water properly, you really won't need the extra salt at the end. The artichokes, parmesan and sausage add just the right amount of salt and flavor to the dish! Quick, easy and delicious! It also doesn't hurt that it looks a little like springtime in a bowl :)

I got a couple packages in the mail today and one of them was from Foodbuzz's Tastemaker Program. It's been awhile since I've opted in to receive samples and I completely forgot about this one. Hooray fun surprise!

This sample came from Pure Dark and timing couldn't be better! I've had this random sweet craving lately, plus Jamie's on his way here at the end of the's hoping these samples last ;p

I got a sample of the Classic Bark - sheets of immensely deep dark chocolate studded with cherries, roasted almonds and caramelized nibs and the Chocolate Slab - a thick slab of dark chocolate. AMAZING. I broke into the Bark and holy delicious.
It's just the right level of darkness for me and the nuts and nibs were great crunchy additions! Didn't get a cherry (at least I don't think I did), but that's fine with me...ahhh love!

Great start to the week! could have been an even better start to the week had I been able to get to the gym, but alas, it was not in the cards. It's probably for the best. After yesterday's run, my calves were crazy tight/sore...even after a decent stretching session! Ah well, looks like the rest of my evening will involve hanging out with the Stick. My trusty buddy.

Good news is that I'm finally getting back into running pretty consistently. It's still really frustrating doing super short runs and spending more time stretching/stick-ing than actually running, but I know it's all for the best. GAH. Anyone have good workout suggestions for someone with severe gym ADD?

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