Easy Artichoke Sauce

On a non-food related topic, I’m just wondering…  How many of you guys are runners?  If you are, have you always been a runner?  Does it come naturally to you?  Or do you struggle with running for long periods of time?  I just started running a few times a week a couple months ago to supplement my Zumba addiction, and let me just tell you –  It does NOT come easily for me!  I’ve been following the Couch to 5k program.  It’s a 9 week program that tells you exactly what to jog/walk to go from super lazy to running a full 5k.  In my case, it’s more like a 20-30 weeks because I keep having to repeat weeks cause like I said, this stuff does not come easily!  I don’t think before this I’ve ever run more than 3 minutes straight.  I don’t enjoy it.  The breathing is hard.  My heart is working too hard.  My legs are heavy.  But you know, I’m taking it slow, and this week, I’ve actually enjoyed it!  I’m only up to 5 minute stretches of running with small rests in between, but it’s at least progress.
I’ve never really worked this hard for something so physically demanding.  I usually go for things that are fairly easy with not much of a huge goal in mind.  I hope to be able to run a 5k this Spring.  I know that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but for me it’s huge.

You know why I work out?  So I can eat.  Eat lots of foods that may or may not be good for me.  Sure, I’m a fan of healthy things that make my body feel good.  But I sure do like my fair share of butter and cream.  I want to be able to eat a brownie sundae or a cream-based pasta if that is what my belly desires.  I spent far too long depriving myself of the foods I wanted.  So I work out and can eat whatever I want.  Don’t get me wrong – I don’t eat cookies, twinkies, and brownies all day long.  Everything in moderation!
One of my favorite indulgences?  Pasta!  With a creamy white sauce.  I based this recipe off of another one from the Moosewood Restaurant Cook at Home cookbook.  They actually called this their emergency sauce because one day they ran out of a key ingredient for the main pasta sauce and had to whip up something new.  From then on out, customers were requesting the sauce so often that Moosewood just made it a staple and it is now on the menu.
Moosewood’s sauce was more of a buttery type sauce that just glazed the pasta.  I turned the base into a roux and added some milk to make a creamy sauce that is much more than a glaze – it is a beautifully tasty blanket to the pasta.  Oh man, just thinking about it makes me want to eat more.

Easy Creamy Artichoke Sauce

¼ cup olive or coconut oil
¼ cup (half a stick) butter
4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
3-4 Tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 14-oz. can of artichoke hearts, quartered

A handful of fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by melting the butter and oil together on medium-high heat.  Once melted, add the chopped garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly golden – not brown!  The worst is burnt garlic.

Once the garlic has cooked for a few minutes, whisk in the flour. Cook for about 2 minutes until golden in color. Gradually add the milk, raise temperature to high. Whisk constantly and bring to a boil. At this point, you should have a moderately thick sauce.
Lower your heat to medium low and add the artichokes, lemon juice, basil, and salt & pepper to taste. Heat through, stirring occasionally, so as not to burn the sauce. Once heated (about 5 minutes) serve over cooked pasta/chicken/rice/etc.
This post is linked to:
Tip Junkie


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