Need a go-to healthy gluten free entree that’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but definitely fancy enough for casual entertaining? I’ve got you covered with this Gluten-Free Linguine with Artichokes, Tomatoes and Arugula. What’s even more brilliant is that this entree comes together in about half an hour and all but one ingredient (the arugula) come in jars and boxes you can keep in a cupboard to pull out at a moment’s notice. This is definitely food love!
The combination of flavors reminds me of a deconstructed pesto. I love chunky pasta dishes, where every bite is different and engaging. And this dish fits the bill with flavors in perfect harmony, but each taking turns to come to the forefront.
Every time you lift your fork, you’ll get a new combination of flavors and textures – smooth, delicious pasta thanks to Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Brown Rice Linguine with Golden Milled Flax Seed, a bit of intensely dark, rich, chewy sundried tomato, a piece of lightly zingy artichoke heart, shockingly fresh green arugula leaves, or the rich, meaty, umami flavors of parmesan and pine nuts. It’s like a delicious game of roulette – with no bad bets!
To start, drain the artichokes and sundried tomatoes a bit. I used a fork to fish them out of the jar, let them drain a few moments, and then transferred them to a bowl. The oil clinging to them will be just enough to cook them in later, so don’t pat them dry. Roughly chop them into small pieces, no more than ½ inch cubes. Put them back in the bowl with their oil.
Next, toast the pine nuts over a medium heat – they’ll go from snow-white little nuggets; then they’ll start to sizzle and smell wonderfully meaty and nutty; then they’ll brown like tiny little marshmallows. Yum.
Start the pasta water boiling, since this will be ready before you know it.
The Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Brown Rice Linguine with Golden Milled Flax Seed was a pleasant surprise to me — I don’t usually eat a gluten-free diet, and I hadn’t ever tried this particular pasta. (I’m trying to work my way through all the products.) It worked beautifully. It has a pleasant, unobtrusive brown rice flavor, and the addition of milled flaxseed gives it tons of omega-3s and lends a light nutty wholesomeness to the dish. I found the noodles stuck together a little bit after cooking, but once I mixed the pasta with the artichoke and sundried tomato sauté, it very obligingly returned to a nice, soft, slippery al dente state.
Taste the pasta after 4-5 minutes and see if it’s done. Linguine is slightly thicker pasta, so it may take a little longer to cook through to its core than angel hair, for example. Mine took a little over 5 minutes to be perfectly al dente. When you drain, be sure you reserve a little pasta water. It helps everything come together.
Meanwhile, in the same pan you used for toasting the pine nuts, turn down the heat a little and add the artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and any oil that has collected in the bowl. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until they’re sizzling, deeply colored and fragrant, then add the wine.
Simmer until the wine is almost completely gone. Reducing the liquid like this concentrates the flavor as the alcohol and excess water burn off. In the end, you’re left with the sweet, crisp essence of the grapes to complement your other ingredients.
For cooking, choose a wine you would drink on its own. (The recipe only takes a half cup; you’re going to have some leftovers.) It can be as expensive or as cheap as you like. The bottle I used was on sale for $7.99 and it was pretty delicious. I like pinot grigio here because it’s usually light, crisp, and just a little acidic like a citrus fruit, so it’s a nice balance to the heavier flavors of artichoke and sundried tomato.
I started mixing arugula into my pasta with my BLT & Avocado Pasta Salad last summer, and now I can’t seem to stop. In this recipe, you can choose how crisp your arugula is by choosing how and when you add it to the mixture. If you prefer slightly crisp leaves, stir it into the pan and turn off the heat immediately. If you prefer the arugula more tender and cooked through, stir for 1-2 minutes over the heat until it’s a deep dark green and completely wilted. And, if you’re like me and you like your greens really crisp, mix them in when you mix together the pasta and artichoke-tomato mixture.
When you’re ready to eat, toss together the finished pasta, the artichoke-tomato mixture and arugula (at your desired temperature) and a little reserved pasta water if anything sticks together. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper for a refreshing, light, meat-free, gluten-free dinner. I could also see this as a very satisfying side served with lightly seasoned chicken breast or white fish.
And if you prefer hearty whole wheat pasta, and don’t need to eat gluten-free, you can substitute Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Fettuccine for a delicious alternative with the same benefits of whole grain and milled flaxseed.
Gluten-Free Linguine with Artichokes and Arugula
- ½ cup pine nuts, (toast in pan before cooking artichokes and tomatoes)
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat (add salt if you wish) to cook the pasta.
Meanwhile, prepare artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes by using a fork to take them from the jar, letting excess oil drip off for a few moments then transferring to a bowl. Chop into no larger than 1/2 inch cubes. Return to bowl.
In a large, dry pan over medium heat, toast pine nuts, shaking often, until lightly browned, lightly sizzling, and fragrantly nutty. Remove from heat and spread out on a plate to cool slightly.
Lower the heat to medium-low. Using the same large pan you used for toasting the pine nuts, sauté together the chopped tomatoes and artichoke hearts and any oil that remains in the bowl. Cook 3-4 minutes until warmed and sizzling. The artichoke hearts will get slightly translucent and will deepen in color.
Add wine and cook 3-4 minutes, or until most of the wine has evaporated. Stir in arugula leaves, letting them wilt according to your desired crispness. For slightly crisp leaves, turn off heat immediately and just let them warm. For softer leaves, stir for 1-2 minutes over heat until they are a deep green and completely wilted. If you like them really crispy(like me) just mix them in when you mix together the pasta and artichoke-sundried tomato mixture.
Meanwhile, when pasta water boils, add pasta and cook according to directions (4-6 minutes, do not overcook.) When done to your taste, reserve ¼ cup of pasta water, and drain pasta. If not yet ready for final mix, return pasta to pot to keep warm. Cover, sprinkling with a little reserved water to keep them from sticking.
In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients. Sprinkle with a little reserved pasta water if mixture sticks together. Serve hot and top as you wish with toasted pine nuts, grated parmesan cheese, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Keep leftovers up to 2 days covered in refrigerator (arugula will become more wilted over time). Excellent cold, or if you wish reheat in a covered pan on stovetop over low heat with a sprinkle of water, or in microwave. For a non-gluten free pasta option, try this recipe with Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Fettuccine with Milled Flaxseed.
Makes about 4 servings as a main dish, 5-6 as a side.