This was probably my 2nd or 3rd recipe post since I started blogging. Back then, I was not even aware of the various food blogging events and this recipe was just lazily sitting on my blog without any visitors!But because I lost all my posts (Want to know how? Read this), I thought it would be okay to send this as an entry for two upcoming events, Waiter There is Something In My…Sauce and Presto Pasta Nights.
Over months ago, I had picked up a Merlot laced artichoke spread while shopping at Harry and David. In their pasta section, I found tomato basil linguine which also made its way into my kitchen. I initially intended to use the pasta and the spread separately. But when I am really pressed for time, I end up wearing my "concoction queen" crown and just start throwing in ingredients that I think might work well together. Most of the times thing work well and whatever fails never shows up on this blog :-) So in went the spread and the pasta into the skillet together. This recipe was thus also one of my hit-or-miss attempts, nothing short of throwing darts. Try it out and let me know if I hit the bulls eye.
Tomato Basil Linguine
3/4 cup Merlot laced artichokes spread (contains artichokes, tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, black olives, extra virgin olive oil, onions, lemon juice, garlic, salt, balsamic vinegar, all mixed in Merlot)
1/4 cup sliced olives
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs basil
1 tsp fresh rosemary
For the Sauce
1. In a saute pan, heat 1 tbs olive oil and add the artichoke spread, olives and salt.
2. Stir until the mixture bubbles.
3. Let it stand for 5 minutes before tossing together with the pasta.
For the Pasta
1. Cook the linguine with 1 tbs dry basil, some salt and olive oil.
2. Cook to the al dente stage; drain the cooking water reserving one big spoonful to use later.
3. Mix the sauce with the pasta and garnish with chopped rosemary.
Thus, the store bought spread was converted into a pasta sauce. Now can I call that 70 % store bought and 30% home made and take a full credit for this delicious sauce and pasta? Why not? This is a perfect toast to the time that I have spent watching Sandra Lee do her semi-home made cooking. You can also prepare the spread used in this pasta at home with the noted ingredients. But then, if you make a trip to Harry and David, a lot of other good specialty foods will also walk into your kitchen (I can almost guarantee this!). So why bother making the sauce at home? May be you will come up with a new pasta combination that way. Bon appetit!