April 27, 2010
Posted by Carla Lalli Music
I love artichokes. When I was a kid, they were a dinner staple, simply steamed and served with a little dish of mayonnaise or melted butter. I got pleasure out of picking the leaves one by one, dipping them, and eating the little bit of meat at the bottom. Getting down to the big, delicious, buttery heart was the big payoff. This simple dish has been on my mind ever since we put artichokes in our May issue, and I cook it whenever artichokes come back on the scene. Trimming the artichoke is a little fussy, since only the heart and some of the tender inner leaves are used. But once that's done, everything else comes together in the time it takes to bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta. Recipe is after the jump.
1 Artichokes should be bright green with tightly packed leaves.
2 The outer dark green leaves have been snapped off to reveal the tender, light green inner leaves.
3 After the stem was trimmed down to the light green parts, I cut each into eight wedges. The next step is to cut out the hairy choke.
4 Garlic and olive oil getting ready for the artichokes.
Saute a few cloves of garlic in olive oil, then add some chopped parsley and the artichokes (I used 3 for 3 people, but that was generous). Lower the heat and cook until artichokes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water. Put the pasta back into the pot along with the cooked artichokes and olive oil, add enough water to make a little sauce to coat. Serve with grated Parmesan.
Kitchen tip—put the cut pieces of artichoke into a bowl of water with a lemon squeezed in to keep them from turning brown.
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