Lemon Artichoke Arugula Pizza

Pizza night is always a good idea. We love making pizza at home because we love playing around with toppings and flavors. One of my favorite pizza creations is this Lemon Artichoke Arugula Pizza. The flavors are SO fresh and delicious. You can make hom…

Pizza night is always a good idea. We love making pizza at home because we love playing around with toppings and flavors. One of my favorite pizza creations is this Lemon Artichoke Arugula Pizza. The flavors are SO fresh and delicious. You can make homemade pizza dough or keep life simple by buying store-bought dough,…

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is bursting with fresh flavor! Mix up a batch as an easy side dish or…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is bursting with fresh flavor! Mix up a batch as an easy side dish or quick lunch.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Here’s a colorful, fresh recipe that’s ideal for summer or anytime: Mediterranean pasta salad recipe! This instantly became a favorite summer side dish with its zingy, bright flavors. Imagine: cool cucumber, juicy tomatoes and peppery arugula, mixed with chewy pasta and salty pops of feta cheese. Hearty sundried tomato gives it an even more irresistible quality to each bite. We served it at a cookout where it got rave reviews, and leftovers are equally as tasty as a lunch idea! This one quickly jumped to the top of our favorite pasta salad recipes.

Ingredients in Mediterranean pasta salad

The concept of pasta salad is an American invention. The first macaroni salad recipe was published in 1914, and it’s spawned loads of variations since then! Mediterranean pasta salad is a thoroughly American concept starring flavors inspired by the region: tomatoes, cucumber, and feta cheese. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this Mediterranean pasta salad recipe:

  • Fusilli (spirals) or other short-cut pasta
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Red onion
  • Baby arugula
  • Feta cheese
  • Mediterranean dressing: lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, olive oil

The basic idea is simple: boil the pasta, chop the veggies, then toss with a simple Mediterranean-style dressing. It takes about 30 minutes to whip up, and it’s well worth the time.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Use any type of short cut pasta

This Mediterranean pasta salad works with any type of short-cut pasta noodle. We like it best with spirals, but it’s just as good with bowties or penne. Whatever the case, make sure to cook the pasta to al dente (see below). Here are a few other pasta shape ideas for mixing it up with this pasta salad:

  • Spirals (fusilli)
  • Bowties (farfalle)
  • Penne
  • Shells (conchiglie)
  • Orecchiette
  • Gemelli
  • Gigli
Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe

Tips for cooking pasta to al dente

Al dente means “to the bite” in Italian: pasta that’s tender with a firm center. It’s extremely important to cook the pasta to al dente for a pasta salad: overcooked pasta turns out rubbery, soft and unappetizing. (Interestingly, it also has less nutrients and makes you less full.) Here are some tips on how to cook pasta to al dente:

  • Set your timer a few minutes before the package instructions indicate. The timing on many pasta packages indicates to cook the pasta too long. Start taste testing the pasta a few minutes before the package says to.
  • Taste test and look for small white fleck at the core. Catch it right when there’s a small white fleck at the core, or just when it disappears: then immediately drain the pasta. For pasta salad, we like to rinse the pasta in cool water until it cools down enough to make into the salad.

Make ahead and storage for Mediterranean pasta salad

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe tastes best the day it is made, as as flavor-packed side dish. But you can also make it in advance and refrigerate until serving, or keep it refrigerated as a lunch idea to munch on throughout the week. Here are a few tips for storage:

  • Mediterranean pasta salad lasts for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. It’s ideal for making ahead or healthy lunches throughout the week.
  • Refresh the flavors before serving. Bring the salad to room temperature. Then stir in a drizzle of olive oil and a bit more crumbled feta cheese. You may or may not need an extra pinch of salt.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad

More pasta salad recipes

Love pasta salads? Us too. Try these fun pasta salad ideas:

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan or plant-based, omit the feta cheese and add a bit more salt.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 to 6

Description

This Mediterranean pasta salad recipe is bursting with fresh flavor! Mix up a batch as an easy side dish or quick lunch.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced into half moons (2 cups)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cups baby arugula (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles (omit for vegan and add more salt)

Instructions

  1. Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and run cool water over it until it’s room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the cucumber and tomatoes, chop the sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, and slice the onion.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, and kosher salt. Then whisk in the olive oil.
  4. Once the pasta is done, add it to the large bowl of dressing and toss with the chopped vegetables. Add the feta cheese and fresh ground black pepper and stir to combine. 
  5. Taste and add more salt to taste if necessary. Serve immediately. Stores up to 5 days refrigerated (leftovers taste great; allow to come to room temperature and add a swirl more olive oil or a bit more salt as necessary).
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Mediterranean pasta salad

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Weeknight Pasta with Artichoke Sauce.

This pasta with artichoke sauce is the easiest dinner ever! Perfect for spring, perfect for busy weeknights, perfect if you just want something fast. If you’re making dinner for just yourself! Really, the reasons are endless.  It’s good. It’s simple. It makes dinner easy.  I’m back with another versatile, easy dinner recipe for you this […]

The post Weeknight Pasta with Artichoke Sauce. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This pasta with artichoke sauce is the easiest dinner ever!

weeknight pasta with artichoke sauce

Perfect for spring, perfect for busy weeknights, perfect if you just want something fast. If you’re making dinner for just yourself! Really, the reasons are endless. 

It’s good. It’s simple. It makes dinner easy. 

artichoke sauce in the food processor

I’m back with another versatile, easy dinner recipe for you this week! You can use any cut of pasta (I’m partial to a noodle like bucatini), add more garlic or parmesan and really control the flavor here based on your preferences.

This dish could be a quick side to some grilled chicken or the main meal. You can throw in some clean-out-the-fridge vegetables or bacon – truly adding in almost anything you’d like. 

Because this dish really only needs four ingredients: artichokes, parmesan, garlic and pasta!

Of course, we have some lemon, a little olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs to fancify it.

But really, it’s as simple as can be.

weeknight pasta with artichoke sauce

This artichoke sauce is basically artichoke pesto! It’s SO super simple – a perfectly easy pantry meal. It all starts with a can or jar of artichokes. Be sure to drain your artichokes from the can or jar. Those get blended with the parm, garlic and olive oil – and that’s about it. Season with salt and pepper and you’re good.

YES. 

So embarrassingly easy.

weeknight pasta with artichoke sauce

You can use it exactly like pesto too: cook your pasta, drain it and throw it back in the hot pot. Add in the artichoke sauce and toss the pasta until it’s all combined. The residual heat warms the artichoke sauce and brings the whole thing together. You can also throw in a few tablespoons of reserved pasta water. 

And of course, more parmesan.

Always!

This is one of those meals that will be as flavorful as you make it. If you really love garlic, add in more. As long as you’re using a high-quality parmesan, it will bring a nutty, savory flavor to the dish. I suggest tasting both the sauce and the pasta dish as you go so you can add more salt and pepper where necessary. And don’t forget to salt your pasta water so it imparts flavor too! It’s such a simple dish that building the layers of flavor is where this will shine.

weeknight pasta with artichoke sauce

The artichoke pesto/sauce is something you can also prep ahead of time and keep in the fridge for a few days. That way it comes together even more easily. 

Like traditional pesto, there is a bit of texture here in the way that the artichoke sauce coats the pasta. 

To finish things off, I like to add in a sprinkling of fresh herbs, such as parsley. It adds a fresh flavor and really makes this dish feel springlike, even though it’s a quick pasta comfort food. 

weeknight pasta with artichoke sauce

Pasta with Artichoke Sauce

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Pasta with Artichoke Sauce

This pasta with artichoke sauce is a simple 20 minute weeknight meal! A quick blended artichoke sauce is the star of the show here!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 to 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 lemon, zest freshly grated and juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces spaghetti or bucatini, cooked
  • ¼ cup reserved starchy pasta water.
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, for topping

Instructions

  • Note: you can use artichokes that are marinated in oil or brined in water for this recipe - just be sure to drain the artichokes completely. The kind of artichokes you use will determine the flavor here, so be aware of adding more salt and pepper when needed. Also a tip: if you use artichoke hearts marinated in oil, you can use the drained oil in the artichoke sauce recipe!
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
  • Place the drained artichokes, cheese, lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until combined and creamy. It won’t be totally smooth, but you do want it combined and sauce-like. Taste and season the sauce with more salt and pepper as you find necessary. This can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days before using.
  • Cook the pasta according to the directions, making sure to reserve some of the starchy water. Drain the pasta and place it back in the hot pot. Immediately pour the artichoke sauce over it and toss to combine - this will take a few minutes to fully toss it. Add in a few tablespoons of the pasta water to bring it all together. This will not be overly creamy or saucy - it’s more like a pesto that coats the noodles!
  • Sprinkle on more parmesan cheese and the herbs. Serve immediately!

Notes

slightly adapted from delicious mag

weeknight pasta with artichoke sauce

Spring is coming!!

The post Weeknight Pasta with Artichoke Sauce. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Favorite Veggie Pizza

Do you do a weekly pizza night? I feel like every week needs pizza. We always look forward to homemade pizza night. It’s so much fun and SO delicious. We usually do “build your own pizza” so everyone is happy and this Veggie Pizza is …

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Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream…

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creamy spinach artichoke dip recipe

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream cheese, sour cream, plus green onions and poblano pepper or bell pepper.

We’ll cook the green onions until they’re a little golden and frazzled around the edges, which is an easy way to yield tons of flavor. I’m obsessed with using lightly spicy, tender poblanos in this recipe (a great twist on standard spinach artichoke dip) but you can use a red bell pepper for a mild dip (also delicious!).

creamy spinach artichoke dip ingredients

The end result is not the most beautiful dip in the world, but it’s definitely amongst the most tasty. It’s creamy and indulgent, yet tastes fresh and full of flavor. This dip is fully loaded with veggies and greens, so it’s actually more redeeming than you might think.

I hope you’ll whip together this spinach artichoke dip on the holidays, or for movie nights, or just any time you get a hankering for it. I’m daydreaming about serving this dip at parties next year!

Continue to the recipe...

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Ultimate Veggie Pizza

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best veggie pizza recipe

As a vegetarian for over a decade, I’ve eaten quite a few veggie pizzas. Truly fantastic veggie pizzas are few and far between. So, I combined all of the elements I’ve enjoyed over the years to create my own “ultimate” veggie pizza pie. This is the best homemade veggie pizza I’ve ever had, and I hope you’ll say the same!

This vegetarian pizza recipe will delight vegetarians and carnivores alike. It’s fresh and full of flavor, featuring cherry tomatoes, artichoke, bell pepper, olives, red onion and some hidden (and optional) baby spinach. You’ll find a base of rich tomato sauce and golden, bubbling mozzarella underneath, of course.

veggie pizza ingredients

The trick with loaded veggie pizzas, as many pizza shops seem to forget, is that they require a few extra minutes in the oven to develop full flavor and structure. Don’t stop baking until the cheese is deeply golden in spots. Otherwise, you might end up with floppy pizza that doesn’t live up to its true potential.

Start with my easy whole wheat pizza dough, and this recipe is ready in about 45 minutes, start to finish. This veggie pizza is quicker and healthier than delivery!

Continue to the recipe...

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Spanish Paella Recipe

Here’s how to make a paella recipe…the Spanish way! This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish. Here’s a stunning one pan dinner that’s made for celebrations: paella! This traditional Spanish rice dish has thousands of variations. but it’s always rice with an explosion of colorful toppings. This one is our best classic paella recipe, based on our travels through Spain! We’ve perfected the skills so you can try it at home. It stars saffron-scented rice, mixed colorful vegetables and shrimp, and it’s full of traditional flavor. Here’s everything you need to know to make paella at home! What paella types are there? Paella is a traditional Spanish dish with saffron-flavored rice topped with seafood, meat and/or vegetables and served in a shallow paella pan. There are varying sizes of paella pans: small pans for two people, and massive paella pans for a crowd. (Fun fact: the world’s largest paella was made in a pan big enough for 30,000 people!) What types of paella are there? Spaniards themselves differ on what is the most classic, authentic paella recipe. Alex and I have eaten paella in Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid, and all […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make a paella recipe…the Spanish way! This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish.

Paella Recipe

Here’s a stunning one pan dinner that’s made for celebrations: paella! This traditional Spanish rice dish has thousands of variations. but it’s always rice with an explosion of colorful toppings. This one is our best classic paella recipe, based on our travels through Spain! We’ve perfected the skills so you can try it at home. It stars saffron-scented rice, mixed colorful vegetables and shrimp, and it’s full of traditional flavor. Here’s everything you need to know to make paella at home!

What paella types are there?

Paella is a traditional Spanish dish with saffron-flavored rice topped with seafood, meat and/or vegetables and served in a shallow paella pan. There are varying sizes of paella pans: small pans for two people, and massive paella pans for a crowd. (Fun fact: the world’s largest paella was made in a pan big enough for 30,000 people!)

What types of paella are there? Spaniards themselves differ on what is the most classic, authentic paella recipe. Alex and I have eaten paella in Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid, and all of them have been vastly different. There are four main types of paella:

  • Paella de mariscos: Seafood paella with shrimp, prawns, scallops or mussels
  • Paella mixta: A mixed paella with seafood, meat and vegetables
  • Valenican-style paella (paella Valenciana): Chicken, rabbit, garrofó (a variety of lima bean), saffron, and rosemary
  • Paella de verduras: vegetarian paella with vegetables only
Spanish paella recipe

Ingredients in this paella recipe

For our best paella recipe, we used the common elements in the paella recipes we’ve had in different regions in Spain. Here’s what’s featured in this paella:

  • Traditional paella pan: you can also use a skillet (see below)
  • Bomba rice: you can also use arborio
  • Tomato, onion and garlic to make a quick “sofrito”
  • Saffron and pimentón aka smoked paprika
  • Mixed vegetables like artichokes, red pepper and peas
  • Seafood: you can also make vegetarian paella (see below)
  • Lemon wedges: garnishing with lemon is the perfect bright finish
Best paella recipe

What is the best paella pan? Do you need to use one?

A paella pan is a large round, shallow pan with handles used for cooking paella. The shallow shape lets rice cook consistently and lets it dry out more than it can in a skillet. If you have a paella pan or want one, now’s the time to use it! This recipe is for a 15-inch paella pan that serves 4 people. If you’re looking for one, here’s a link to purchase a 4-person paella pan.

Don’t have a paella pan? Don’t worry! Make this paella in your largest skillet. The larger the better! You may need to adjust the cook time slightly if you are using a skillet.

Paella pan care instructions: Paella pans are made of carbon steel and can rust. Make sure to dry the pan completely after cleaning it, and rub it with a bit of vegetable oil to prevent rusting.

Paella rice

What’s the best rice to use in paella?

The most authentic paella rice type is called bomba rice. Bomba rice is a white short grain rice. You can also use Arborio rice, which is easier to find but can result in a gummier texture than bomba. Either work! For this recipe we tried bomba and felt like it had more consistent results. You can find bomba rice online. Order it: Bomba rice

The secret spices: saffron and pimentón

This is an authentic style paella recipe, so it uses two special spices to get that traditional flavor. Here’s what to know:

  • Saffron brings an earthy flavor and a beautiful color to the dish. It’s an expensive spice, but it’s worth the splurge. What can you substitute for saffron? If you can’t find it or don’t want to splurge, use 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
  • Smoked paprika: Called pimentón or Spanish smoked paprika, this bright red spice gives the dish more color and a smoky undertone. It’s easy to find and you’ll find it in many of our recipes here. (Here are our 20 best smoked paprika recipes.)
Easy paella recipe

Do not stir this paella recipe!

Once all the ingredients are added to the pan in paella, here’s what to do…or really, what not to do. Don’t stir it! Please repeat: no stirring allowed. The broth and spices boil through the rice, leaving everything perfectly flavored and cooked.

Traditionally, it’s good to get a brown crust on the bottom of the rice (perfectly brown, without burning it). The Spanish call this socarrat. It’s difficult to achieve the perfect socarrat because so much depends on the exact timing. It’s also a little harder to get it if you’re using a skillet. But never fear! Each time you cook this recipe, you’ll learn new things about perfecting your paella technique.

Paella variations

Variation: vegan and vegetarian paella

Don’t want to make a shrimp paella recipe? No problem. We love making vegan and vegetarian paella as well. (Or go to this Simple Vegetarian Paella.) Here’s what to do to customize this recipe:

  • Omit the shrimp! Obviously.
  • Add 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (1 1/2 cups cooked). Drain and rinse them, then add them when you add the vegetable broth.
  • Increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon. You’ll need it to flavor the chickpeas.

This paella recipe is…

Gluten-free, pescatarian, and dairy-free. For vegetarian, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the section above.

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Paella Recipe

Spanish Paella Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Here’s how to make a paella recipe…the Spanish way! This stunning one pan dinner features shrimp, vegetables and all the authentic flavors of this traditional dish.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 roma or plum tomatoes (1 1/2 cups finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peel and deveined*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cups seafood stock or vegetable stock 
  • 1 1/2 cups short grain Bomba rice or arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed under water
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
  • Lemon wedges from 1/2 lemon
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prep the vegetables: Mince the onion. Mince the garlic. Finely chop the tomatoes, removing the cores but keeping the seeds with their juices.
  2. Measure out the ingredients: Measure out all the remaining ingredients before you start. The cooking process goes fast!
  3. Cook the shrimp: Dry the shrimp and add it to a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. In your largest skillet or a 4-serving paella pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and saute until it is just barely opaque, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp and set it aside.
  4. Cook the paella: In the same pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until just translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped tomatoes, the remaining 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and red pepper flakes, and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, saffron and 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle the rice evenly across the broth and tap the pan with a spoon to evenly spread the rice. Bring to a medium simmer and cook without stirring until liquid is absorbed, about 18 to 22 minutes (adjust the cook time as necessary if using a skillet).
  5. Adjust the heat as necessary: If your pan is large enough to span multiple burners on your stovetop, adjust the heat on each burner so you achieve a steady medium simmer. Rotate the pan every few minutes for an even cook.
  6. Add the artichokes and peas: When the top of the rice is beginning to show through the liquid (about 10 minutes into the cook time), press the artichokes and peas lightly into the rice.
  7. Assess whether the paella is done: In last few minutes, carefully watch the paella and rotate pan more frequently. As the paella finishes, you’ll see the steam start to slow down as the water cooks out. If desired, peek at the bottom of a pan by using a knife to scrape back the rice — you shouldn’t see any standing water. The sound will start to change from a simmer to a crackle. This indicates the crust is forming. Let the crackling continue for about 2 minutes before removing from the heat. If you smell any burning, remove immediately.
  8. Add the shrimp and serve: When the paella is done, add the shrimp to top of paella and squeeze the lemon wedges onto the top of the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of kosher salt and add the parsley, if using. Serve with additional lemon wedges.

Notes

*Vegetarian and vegan variation: Remove the shrimp. Add 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked) when you add the veggie broth. Increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Keywords: Paella Recipe, Paella

More paella recipes

Love paella? Here are a few more options to try:

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