I know what you’re thinking.

That’s the second bowl of pasta that’s been posted in a week and therefore you can’t possibly be in the right place.

Even before we went wheat-free over here, pasta was rare like a 15-month old who doesn’t like Elmo. Weird analogy, I know, but I’ve been hanging around with a lot of them lately.

But I promise, you haven’t made a wrong turn, and I’m still playing some catch-up from before the big diet changes. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been a fan of Al Dente Pasta Company for quite some time because of their line of low-carb pastas. They kindly sent me a few other flavors to try out, including whole wheat with flax and spinach fettucine.

When I hear spinach, I pretty much think of one thing. Kind of like peas and carrots (actually, I’ve never eaten those together) or peanut butter and jelly, spinach belongs with artichokes. First and foremost in warm cheesy dips, but by extension, baked on pizza, folded into frittatas, and wilted into risotto. Needless to say, my ideas for what to do with this spinach fettucine started and ended with artichokes. I knew there needed to be a creamy sauce involved too, and ironically (or not? perhaps foreshadowing?) I decided to go dairy-free. No particular reason except that I thought other ingredients (cashews, white beans) sounded more fun, and more filling. And of course, more healthful than a traditional cream sauce.

Let me just tell you. Even if you can eat dairy, this is a really fun recipe to try out. The cashews and white beans create a hearty base that coats the pasta and clings to the chicken and artichokes (try getting that from a low-fat version of a dairy cream sauce!) Miso and lemon juice give it a little bit of salty tang that one might expect from a sprinkle of cheese. And underneath the creamy sauce, the spinach fettuccine managed to shine through, it’s leafy, fresh flavor and velvet-y texture sitting perfectly beside the bold artichokes.

This sauce is a winner. Could you flavor it in a bazillion other ways to compliment any one of Al Dente’s limitless varieties? Absolutely.

Keep scrolling for the giveaway! 

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Creamy Chicken and Artichoke Pasta (Dairy-Free)

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

1/4 cup raw cashews
boiling water
1/2 cup cooked white beans
2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons white miso
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
4oz Al Dente Spinach Fettuccine or whole wheat pasta
1 6oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt-free Italian seasoning
1/2 of a 12oz package frozen artichokes, thawed

Directions:

In a small bowl, cover cashews with boiling water and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain cashews and place in a high-speed blender with white means, garlic, miso, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water. Process until smooth, and set aside.

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 5-8 minutes, until cooked through but still firm. Drain pasta in a colander.

Meanwhile, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with Italian seasoning and add to skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned. Add the artichokes and continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes. Add the drained pasta and the sauce; toss to combine. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, until everything is heated through. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 482.1
Total Fat 9.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.1 g
Cholesterol 59.3 mg
Sodium 315.6 mg
Potassium 778.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 67.3 g
Dietary Fiber 9.3 g
Sugars 2.6 g
Protein 36.7 g

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays for 12/13/2011.

Al Dente provided me with pasta to make this recipe, but all opinions are my own.

GIVEAWAY

One reader will win a Pasta with Benefits package from Al Dente, including:

- Your choice of one flavor of Al Dente Carba-Nada low-carb pasta
- Al Dente Whole wheat with Flax Fettuccine
- Al Dente Spinach Fettuccine

To enter, simply leave a comment on Al Dente’s Facebook Page letting them know which flavor of Carba-Nada you would choose if you win. Then, leave a comment here telling me your choice too.

For additional entries, you may share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Stumbleupon and leave a separate comment for each share.

No purchase necessary. The contest will close on Monday, December 12th at midnight, at which point a winner will be chosen via random number generator. Winner must reside in the United States and comment via DISQUS with valid contact information, which includes an signing in with an email address or Facebook profile where I may send you a message. Winner will be contacted and have 3 days to respond, at which point s/he forfeits the prize and another winner will be chosen.
Good luck!

Want more free stuff? 
Don’t miss my Nasoya giveaway for a chance to win 5 coupons good for FREE Nasoya tofu and other products!

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