I began with artichoke as the protein inspiration in this dish and thought that it compared to mushrooms in earthiness. Luckily, all the munchkins enjoy artichoke as much as my siblings did, so I had a good go to for a meat replacement in their “acceptable” palate. I began the dish by cooking the artichokes with my standard method and allowing the little ones to nibble away all the leaves as an appetizer as I started into the rest of the recipe. I then rescued the hearts to add to the main dish. This worked well as it kept their hunger at bay, gave me help, and bought me some cooking time.
This recipe’s fresh flavor is made possible by having all the veggie prep done and close at hand, using a method similar to a Chinese stir fry. This can also be served without the pasta or with reduced pasta for those with diabetic concerns and tastes just as delicious.
Bell Pepper and Artichoke Heart Pasta
- 5 artichoke hearts, leaves and choke removed
- 2 cups walnuts
- zest of one orange
- 18 oz. tricolor rotini pasta
- 2 Tbls. olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 small bunch scallions
- 1 granny smith apple
- 1 tsp. garlic
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup veggie broth
- juice of 1/2 orange
- 1 Tbls. herbs de provence
- pepper and salt to taste
You will want multiple bowls to set beside your stockpot with each of these ingredients at the ready. Slice the artichoke heart into 1/4″ strips for the first bowl.
Rough chop the walnuts into second bowl and grate the orange zest over them. Stir to coat.
Remove the fronds from the fennel bulb and wash the bulb, then cut in half. Turn the cut face down and slice into 1/4″ slices. Place these in bowl three. Wash, de-stem, and remove the seeds from the bell pepper and slice into 1/4″ strips as well. These can share bowl three.
For bowl four, core apple and chop into bite sized pieces. Add the scallions, sliced thinly.
Put noodles on to boil as per package directions. If you are like me, set the timer for the noodles.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot and add fennel bulb. Saute 3 minutes without stirring, allowing to brown.
Add bell pepper and combine, cooking for 2 more minutes.
Add scallions and apple and stir. Mix in garlic and artichoke hearts and saute for 2 more minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup white wine, after 2 minutes more add the 1/2 cup veggie broth and orange juice.
If you are using pasta, drain and add to stockpot. Mix in spice and walnuts and taste. Adjust needed salt and pepper, then serve.