Even as a very young child, if someone were to ask me what my favorite food was, I would never fail to answer “Artichokes.” More specifically steamed artichokes, dipped, no, DROWNED, in melted butter, lemon and garlic.
Because they were so hard to get, and relatively expensive, these were a real treat for us kids and we would anxiously look forward to them all day.
Now that you can buy artichokes 4 to a bag at Costco, I guess the treat is more about the vats of melted butter and less about the extravagant cost. But I threw caution (and love handles) to the wind when I made this pasta. And it was well worth it.
It evokes all of the same buttery, sour lemon, garlicky goodness, but spreads the flavor wealth all over the pasta. I added white wine and fresh herbs for good measure and served this with grilled trout. Ummmmm, divine.
*One last note- it is worth the trouble to use fresh artichoke hearts. I mean, I am the first to enjoy just opening a can and draining bunch of artichoke hearts, but the difference between them and a fresh artichoke heart is serious. If there is no way you can your hands on a fresh artichoke- use frozen hearts instead of canned- they don’t have the citric acid preservative that changes the artichoke flavor.
Artichoke Pasta with Butter, Lemon and Garlic, serves 4
-1 lb pasta (I used campanelle)
-3 Globe artichokes
-1 lemon, cut in half
-2 Tbs butter
-2 Tbs olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 lemons zest and juice (about 4 Tbs)
-¼ cup herbs, minced (parsley and chives)
-½ cup white wine
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
-2 Tbs butter
-2 Tbs lemon juice
-1 clove garlic, minced
Fresh parsley and chives for garnish (I used chive blossoms too)
1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
2) While you are waiting for the water to boil, trim the 3 globe artichokes down to the heart, removing all of the tough outer leaves, stem and dark green from the tender whitish green flesh around the heart.
3) Next, cut the hearts in half and carefully cut the choke (the prickly fuzzy layer) off of the top of the heart.
4) Rub the trimmed artichokes with a half of a lemon and put them in a bowl of cold water with the lemon halves.
5) Add the artichoke heart halves and the lemon halves to the boiling water and boil 5 minutes.
6) Using a slotted spoon, pull the artichoke hearts from the boiling water and placed on a cutting board. (leave the lemon halves in the water)
7) Slice each artichoke heart half into 3 to 4 pieces.
8) In a medium pan, melt the butter with the olive oil and add the garlic, lemon zest and 2 Tbs of the fresh lemon juice. Let this simmer about 1 minute.
9) Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water that you cooked the artichokes in. Cook according to the manufacturers directions to al dente.
10) Add the artichoke heart pieces and the white wine to the pan and cook over medium heat, for 5 minutes.
11) Then place a lid on the pan and cook another 3-5 minutes or until the artichokes are fork tender.
12) Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot it was cooked in.
13) Add the artichokes and sauce to the pot and stir well to coat the pasta.
14) Immediately put the pan back on the stove, adding the butter, 2 Tbs lemon juice and minced garlic to the pan.
15) Simmer together until the butter has just melted and add it to the pasta.
16) Toss the pasta together season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
17) Garnish with a little fresh parsley. Serve immediately.