Good news.

I’ve met someone.

Someone. If you get my drift.

His name. Is Howard.

He’s a great guy, as far as I can tell. (I mean, in the words of Charlotte York, “How well do we ever know the men we sleep with?” So he’s great. For now. Until he’s not. NOTE – No more pessimism. He’s great. End of story.)

We never argue.

We spend the perfect amount of time together – not too much, but not too little either. I don’t feel smothered at all. Which is important. I’ve found that the older I get, the more easily suffocated I am. Space is key.

He’s older. Not sure by how much. But definitely older. I’m sure it will come up at some point. I’ll keep you posted.

Let’s see, what else can I tell you…

Oh, right.

I should also mention that he’s dead. Lower GI bleed. About 6 months ago.
Now before you have me committed, I should say that I have not become a nymphomaniac. Not even the complete dearth of of male prospects in my life could lead me to such a thing. (But just give me a few years. I’ll be roaming the graveyards. Unabashedly.)

So what in God’s name am I talking about?

Two words.

Anatomy. Lab.

Now I don’t think I’ve done a very good job of keeping my distaste for medical school thus far a secret.

Not that I don’t like it. I just haven’t felt…what’s the word…challenged? Stimulated? (And what is life without stimulation? Donna knows what I’m talking about.) I mean, after MIT, I was used to mindblowingly hard tests. That really made you think. I love thinking. Especially about science. (I may have fooled you up until this point, but when it comes down to it I am actually something of a nerd. Such is life. I am who I am. Deal with it.)

Instead, what I have been forced to do is regurgitate facts. No thinking required, necessary, or even recommended. In fact, the exams are worded such that the more you think, the less likely it is that you will get the right answer.

Thankfully, though, anatomy promises to be an entirely different beast. It is hands-on. And while there is a lot of memorization, there is also a lot of analysis and synthesis of information that needs to occur. (If I put my scalpel here, which muscle will I impale? And what blood vessel in the near vicinity will I be at risk of severing? Which movements will be restricted in this individual should I cut the muscle all the way through, thereby rendering it nonfuncitonal? All very important questions.)

And so far, I love it.

The only problem. Is that human muscle. Looks kind of like turkey. Dark meat. To be precise.

So I need a break. From meat-eating. At least for a few days. Until I get used to the smell of formaldehyde and the sight of guts splayed everywhere.
Pioneer Woman to the rescue! (As usual.) This pasta dish, filled with some artichokes, tomatoes, and a delicious pink sauce was fantastic. And utterly comforting after spending many hours in the cold recesses of Weill Cornell’s anatomy lab. In a room filled with cadavers.

Yeah, it’s a pretty awesome pasta dish.

Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes
Serves 3, adapted from the Pioneer Woman

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup heavy cream)
1/4 cup broth
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 lb spaghetti
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1. Cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain.

2. Melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Dice the onion and garlic. Saute the onion for 2-3 minutes. Then add in the garlic for a minute.

3. Add the artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add in cream (or milk and half and half) and broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add nutmeg. Cook over low heat until heated through. Stir in the parmesan. Mix with pasta.

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights for the first round-up of the new year which is being hosted by Ruth over at Once Upon A Feast. I am also submitting this to Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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66 Responses to Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

  1. Amy says:

    Joanne! You kill me! Totally had me going there. Howard…the dead guy. LOL.

    If it weren’t for Math and Science, I probably would have sailed through school – they are my total nemesis. I think the only A’s I ever received in High School and college were in English and creative writing.

    Having said that, I do find it all fascinating. Have you seen the special called “Origami” on PBS? You mus, you really must.

    and p.s. – must make this pasta dish. Paul will just have to pick out the artichokes.

  2. Barbara says:

    I was reading along, not knowing if I should be crying or what, only to discover Howard is a corpse!
    Anyway, I get what you’re saying. I took anatomy too! Will never, ever forget it. Pasta is a great idea to shake away the memories.

  3. LOL, totally had me going there, you’re too much!

  4. Lea Ann says:

    LOL – I even had Howard pictured in my mind…until. And after reading this, I think I’ll give up meat for a few days. Love your blog, always great reading. And by the way, the spaghetti looks great.

  5. Wow….I was picturing this hot older guy. Until…yeah then I was picturing bile. So funny! I love the recipe though!

  6. This looks like a great pasta recipe. I like that I can just pull artichokes and tomatoes from the can for this recipe. Looks great!

  7. You’re too funny! You had me going as well. I think pasta is a great diversion. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  8. You had me going there Joanne! I am glad that you are finding anatomy more stimulating. I think my sister thought the same things as well.

    This is a great looking pasta recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    I double penciled in the 30th..I cannot wait πŸ™‚

  9. Marcia says:

    Okay, that pasta looks really good, and I say that from one nerd to another.

  10. Haha, awesome love story. When JJ was going through anatomy I and II in undergrad, I hate it. He always smelled. Then, lucky me, he had to take 2 more semesters in Grad School! He also would come home and not mind some nice vegetarian dishes… Looks fantastic!

  11. I thought the name Howard didn’t sound like someone you’d be dating – LOL. Now, if I can keep the anatomy lab out of my mind, I’d love to try this recipe πŸ˜‰

  12. Luigi says:

    Fantastic recipe, im absolutely starving now after seeing and reading that. Although slightly disturbed reading about corpses. All part of the study I guess, and my best wishes with it!!

  13. Oh u had me at ‘someone'(wink wink……)and i drifted away all ears…and wowowowowow…u led me right up to the lab and what a lab…(thank God i already finished dinner :-))))was craving chocolate but it suddenly disappered…can i contribute that to Howards low GI bleed,6months back and what followed and follows…oh keep us posted sure!!!!!!)
    Oh maybe i cant…dot know what but yet this pasta looks good though aint hungry at all nor my taste buds hyper active(as usuall)at this time….
    Oh would love to get led by the drift again but as long as it leads of a garden filled with chocolates and roses and teddy bears(make it winnie the pooh) and hot chocolate w marshmellows and drives and ballroom music and fairies…..get the drift….. :-))))))

  14. Gotta love anatomy lab πŸ™‚ The pasta sounds great with artichoke hearts!

  15. Sook says:

    ha ha i almost wrote “congratulations on Howard!” he he I never used to like artichokes but for some reason, I’ve been craving it lately. Funny how one’s taste changes.

  16. SE says:

    the only reason why i took up engineering !!! liked the use of artichokes in pasta, i just stiry fry them

  17. Lovely lady – you never fail to make me laugh. πŸ™‚ I’m feeling rather vegetarian myself these days, and this dish looks light and wonderful. πŸ™‚

  18. Pam says:

    You need to write a book! You had me hanging on your every word!

  19. I was totally confused for a bit there but pasta looks yummy…Hope medical school gets better!

  20. Mansi says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Mansi says:

    This looks so yum…wish you a happy new year..felt like I was reading a Robin Cook…hehehe..

  22. Toni says:

    Will you come cook for me? Please? Don’t make me beg. It’s not pretty.

  23. hahhahaha love the anatomy shit. =D i remember when we had full cadavers on the tables and my friend was freaking out….so i, the kind kind understanding friend, when she wasn’t looking, moved the hand of the cadaver and touched her elbow. she screamed. i cackled.

    do you have to take practicals? i did…man! naming all those stupid cranial nerves (don’t tell me you don’t have a dirty pneumonic for those) and eyes tearing up due to formaldehyde. =D

  24. Very cute introduction about Howard. You had me going. the artichoke hearts have it going on, great photos too!

  25. Funny start… i bet your mother was thrilled… for awhile…

    For my wife’s inconvenient day job, she had to spend 2 weeks doing autopsies. She still has stories 20 years later, and tells them in the middle of my food prep…

    So you will have memories of Howard popping up for the rest of your life

  26. LOL! That was funny! Great blog… very interesting… now if only I could take “howard” off my mind now!

  27. Andreas says:

    >the exams are worded such that the more you think, the less likely it is that you will get the right answer.

    That’s why there are different math textbooks for students of physics, engineering and medicine. πŸ˜‰

  28. Jen says:

    hahahaha, I was about to say yay for the new guy…too funny! I love how you tell stories. This must be an exciting time for you huh? I don’t know if I could do it. I stopped eating meat since seeing FOOD, INC…eating pasta everyday now it seems, lol

  29. Ha – now this post was HILARIOUS. I’ve just added u to my blogroll - – LOL…continue on your meat eating break…I’ll take a dish of that pasta too! Looks amazing!

  30. Kim says:

    I agree with Pam. You could totally write a book. I can’t imagine a room full of cadavers, especially with human muscle looking like dark meat turkey – yikes!! Dissecting fish and frogs is what turned me into a vegetarian in high school. It took me 7 years to get over it and start eating meat again. Good luck with anatomy. It sounds very interesting. The pasta dish looks delish. I could eat a big bowlful of it right now. I love artichoke hearts πŸ˜€

  31. Bob says:

    Embrace your nerdliness, Joanne! Heh. The pasta sounds great, it looks like something my mom used to make.

  32. teresa says:

    omgosh, funny! my husband worked on cadavers for a semester and always came home smelling that formaldehyde, that was enough to lose my appetite! this is a wonderful vegetarian dish to embrace during your “romance.” lol

  33. Ruth Daniels says:

    Great post. At least Howard doesn’t give you any lip about the food you serve. And I fully understand going vegetarian…at least for a little while.

    Good luck with school and thanks for sharing a delicious dish with Presto Pasta Nights. As always, it’s a treat when you shar.

  34. Karen says:

    I love anything pasta. And hey, Howard might just be the perfect man. Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean a thing. πŸ˜‰

  35. my hubby would smile at this post he is a Dr, looks fab Joanne

  36. Shannon says:

    umm, might we save cadaver talk for AFTER dinner? πŸ™‚

  37. Mari says:

    OH you finally started! I remember our convo about that the other day lol. I hope you and Howie have a long and fruitful relationship lol

    yuuums that pasta se ves muy bueno

  38. Elizabeth says:

    Both my brother-in-law and sister-in-law went to a very anatomy-focused med school and they have similar stories.

    Your pasta looks delicious, by the way.

  39. Michelle says:

    Poor Howard and poor Joanne! Just suffer through, it wont be long now.

    I was not inspired to make dinner tonight and how I wish I had seen this dish earlier! Love articoke hearts!

  40. Megan says:

    Ugh – I think I’ll be giving up steak for a few days. Watching the physiology class in high school dissect cats was bad enough – I can’t imagine doing it on a real person. I have a lot of respect and admiration for what you do.

  41. Donna-FFW says:

    Yes, I know what youre saying..;)
    We only got around to dissecting cats for nursing school.. the smell, I dont think one ever gets used to that smell, it seeps into the fibers of clothing I swear..

    I have been wanting to try this dish. I am glad to know it has your seal of approval. You will meet the right guy of that I am sure, and HE will be the luckiest man ever.

  42. Debinhawaii says:

    I can see where that would keep you off eating meat for awhile. This pasta looks delicious–who needs animal flesh!?! πŸ˜‰

  43. Debbie says:

    Too funny!!! I loved it…..I think your humor is terrific! I have made the dish you posted from Pioneer Woman and love it! Yours looks terrific. “Good luck” with Howard…….

  44. Julie says:

    So glad you’re someone who likes to think. I’ve let my brain atrophy! It’s pickled in diet coke. Your spaghetti looks wonderful πŸ™‚

  45. Muneeba says:

    You got me all excited about Howard, before u pronounced him dead as a doornail! *sigh* .. oh well, the post ended on a high .. LOVE that you’re such a regular contributor to FFPW πŸ™‚

  46. Hee hee! You are very funny! Wow, it must be so interesting to work with a dead body…I once had to work on a dead cat – in anatomy – and yeah, that smell really gets to you….It’s like it just burrows into your nose hairs and you can’t get it out! Good luck!

  47. Gulmohar says:

    Like artichoke..but never tried them in pasta..will do it next time..your write up reminded me of my gud ol Zoology lab…

  48. Eww!! I’m very squeamish. Good thing I don’t like dark meat. I do however love this comforting pasta! All of my favorites in one!

  49. Erica says:

    LOL…..You are very funny! I could not do something like that πŸ™‚ The pasta looks delicious! LOL…….

  50. Faith says:

    This post had me in stitches! (You’re such a great writer!) And I would totally need a break from meat for a bit after that too, lol! (Oh poor Howard!) πŸ™‚

  51. chrystad72 says:

    ahhahah…what a fake out! lol…I love reading your posts! Gosh poor little Howard=) But your pasta dish looks AMAZING as usual. what a fab idea girly. My sis had to take an anatomy lab too. Oh the stories! eecck! Hope your having one amazing day girl!

  52. sophia says:

    ohmigosh, Joanne. You almost had me singing and teasing you about a new guy. God, you’re good.
    Take all the break from meat you want…but I’ll bet when I start frying up some bacon, you’ll forget all about Howard. πŸ˜‰

  53. LOL. I’d stay away from meat if I were you too but my hubs doesn’t seem to mind. Whenever we eat Chinese sausages he’d tell me it smells like burnt human flesh.

  54. Love the pasta! And I don’t blame you for eschewing meat for a while.
    I understand about the tests and facts. My daughter breezed through school as she was good at giving them their own info back. My son had the hardest time with school as he is a dreamer and thinks in circles and loops. I find him to be the more creative of the two but that doesn’t cut it in most academic contexts.

  55. Kevin says:

    Quick, simple and tasty pastas like this are the best!

  56. comfycook says:

    You make all food look good. I love pasts.

  57. Oh gosh, now I think I need a break from meat too for awhile – and I’m supposed to be having more protein, extra protein shakes here I come!
    This recipe looks scrumptious and using a nice whole wheat pasta I think it will fit in nicely under the category of clean eating. Thanks Joanne!

  58. Catherine says:

    Never loose that sense of humor, that and prayers will get you through life with much smoother sailing!
    Your speghetti with the artichoke hearts and tomato sounds very good and very satisfying.
    Blessings to you Joanne. Catherine

  59. Shirley says:

    Good looking pasta there! All the best with the cadavers!

  60. Kerstin says:

    Mmmm, what a yummy easy pasta dish! I don’t think I could handle all the memorization needed for med school – my memory is horrible! Glad you’re enjoying spending time with Howard πŸ™‚

  61. Chef Chuck says:

    Pasta, Count me in! Yumm~~

  62. Eric Eswein says:

    When you’re done with Howard, Look Me Up πŸ˜‰ -Eric πŸ™‚

  63. Eric says:

    When you’re done with Howard, Look Me Up πŸ˜‰ -Eric πŸ™‚

  64. Brette says:

    As a collector of good go-to pasta sauce recipes, I was eager to try the Pioneer Woman’s artichoke and tomato sauce. It was thin and too acidic. I won’t be making it again.

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