We do not eat nearly enough veggies in our house. I am really horrible at this. Why can't sugar be a veggie? Does it count if it is made from a beet? No? Well, it should. Someone should really get on that.
Since sugar is not a vegetable, finding a recipe that is packed with veggies already is awesome. That way I don't have to worry about forgetting/feeling too lazy to prepare a side dish. Slow cooker Artichoke Pasta from A Year of Slow Cooking contains 3 cans of tomatoes and 2 cans of artichokes. Talk about vegetable city! AND it's a dump and go crock pot recipe. Bonus!
The resulting dish was just ok, but I really screwed up the recipe so keep that in mind. How can one mess up a dump and go crock pot recipe you ask? Well if anyone can, it's me! I have special gifts.
In the comment section, someone said there was not enough liquid. They recommended adding liquid from the cans of artichokes. So I did. Don't do this. It is waaaay too much liquid. The dish wound up more soupy than saucy.
Because Mrblocko would get twitchy if we ate vegetarian, I tossed in 4 chicken breasts along with all the other ingredients. This was way too much. I'd say that 3 chicken breasts would make the dish plenty chickeny. (Maybe 4 is a good amount for those of you who don't have access to freaky mutant giant chicken breasts.) Once the chicken was fully cooked, I shredded it in hopes that it would soak up some of the excess liquid. Well that did not happen, at least not as much as I wanted it to.
Then as the piece de resistance, I went and forgot the cream. And when I say forgot, I mean I forgot to buy it at the store and then didn't even add anything else in like milk to make up for the missing flavor. Duh. No wonder it was just ok. People, take it from me, you can't omit a thing as wonderful as cream and then complain that it wasn't mindblowingly delicious. (Well, you could, but you would be WRONG!) Of course the dish didn't need any extra liquid in it or it most definitely would have been soup.
With all the chicken in it, this made a ton of leftovers. And when I say ton, it is no exaggeration. We had enough for over 8 meals for the three of us. The great thing was that it froze wonderfully, and the reheated defrosted leftovers tasted better than the meal the first time around.
Slowcooker Artichoke Pasta from A Year of Slow Cooking
3 (14.5-ounce) cans Italian tomatoes (diced, stewed, your choice) (do not drain)
2 (14.5-ounce) cans artichoke hearts in water, drained and lightly chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (to add later)
1 pound freshly cooked pasta (to add later)
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the tomatoes into your crockpot. Lightly chop the drained artichoke hearts and toss them in. Add garlic and olives. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. If you are adding chicken, cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in heavy cream and hot, cooked pasta before serving.
*If you are out of the house all day, you can still make this by using a programmable slow cooker. Set it to turn to warm after 5 hours on low. The warm setting will work for a full 12 hours, and will keep your food nice and hot (but not still cooking) until you arrive home. Stir in the heavy cream. Cook pasta according to package instructions and toss with the sauce.