A jar of marinated artichokes is a great staple to have in the pantry. Two jars, even better. Not only can you whip up a great artichoke spread on demand, but adding artichokes to pasta, salad or rice is a great way to jazz up your meal.
In this case, the grain-like pasta orzo gets the artichoke treatment. Easier to prepare than risotto, orzo is a simple setting for fancier additions. But don't let the word fancy fool you: this warm dish is pure comfort food.
Especially when served with the rest of the white wine you added to the sauce.
Orzo with Artichokes and Spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon margarine (or substitute another tablespoon olive oil)
4 shallots, quartered
1 1/2 cup jarred artichokes, drained
1 cup soy cream
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon vegan Parmesan (optional)
1 cup orzo, cooked according to package directions
2 cups spinach, chopped
Heat the olive oil and margarine in a large skillet. Add the shallots and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add drained artichokes and cook 5 minutes. Add soy cream, mustard, and wine, and stir in the vegan parmesan, if using.
Let simmer for 5 minutes, and add orzo, using a slotted spoon to retain a bit of the pasta cooking water.
Add the spinach, and when it's wilted, remove from heat. Serve in a shallow bowl, if desired, to retain the warmth.