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Posts Tagged ‘Artichoke’

Wednesday Is Prince Sphaghetti Day

Wednesday Is Prince Sphaghetti Day

I probably should have saved this for ThrowBack Thursday, I mean who remembers Prince spaghetti?  Growing up in an Italian family, I certainly do remember the macaroni products we had in our home.  My father did buy Prince spaghetti, however I clearly remember the LaRosa brand boxes of shells and I think the family favorite was Ronzoni.   When I was a young married, I always stuck with Ronzoni and because I saw my parents pour the pasta out of the pot and into a colander and then rinse it, I did the same!  I can’t remember now when I learned that was definitely NOT the thing to do!  Rinsing the pasta removes some of its flavorful starch that was released during the cooking process.  Not only do I NOT rinse my pasta, I often save a cup of the water to add to my sauces.  Specifically the pasta water is used in many of my vegetarian pasta dishes to make a thin sauce that may also have some broth, butter or oil.

Look For The Red Rose

Look For The Red Rose

What do I buy now?  I love the taste of Barilla macaroni products although so many of my Italian friends swear by De Cecco.  So recently, I purchased some De Cecco linguine and I swear it didn’t have the same flavor.  De Cecco is made in Italy so I’ll give it a few more tries and see if I like the results.

This Wednesday, even though it is STILL raw and cold outside, not to mention raining,  I thought I would try welcoming Spring into the apartment with a truly Spring-like pasta dish.  To quote Pure Wow , the site where I found this recipe by Erin McDowell; “We had a good run, soups and stews.  But as temperatures rise and flowers bloom, we’re ready to swap rich and hearty for light and fresh”.

PASTA WITH PEAS, ARTICHOKES, LEMON AND MINT

Serves 4-6  Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb bucatini, spaghetti or other long pasta

1 1/2 cups fresh peas

12 marinated artichoke heart quarters, drained

3 TBS unsalted butter

1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese

2 TBS lemon juice

Salt

2 TBS freshly chopped mint for garnish

Lemon zest for garnish

Directions

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, cook till pasta is al dente, 6-8 minutes (or according to package instructions). One minute before pasta is done, add the peas to the pot.  Before draining, ladle out and reserve 1 cup pasta water. 

Drain pasta and peas in colander and immediately add artichoke hearts.  Toss to combine.  

Return pasta and vegetables to the pot, then add the butter and Pecorino cheese, and toss to coat.  Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water to and the lemon juice, and continue tossing until the mixture forms a creamy coating.  Add additional water if needed.  Season with salt to taste.

To serve, transfer pasta to plates, and top with mint, lemon zest and black pepper.

Pasta Peas & Artichokes

Pasta Peas & Artichokes

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So many of the good and tasty recipes I get come from Wegman’s, my favorite grocery store at the shore.  At my store, they have an in-house chef who cooks up  a fabulous dish and hands out samples.  Of course the ingredients for this dish are within an arm’s reach of Gus. This week he was cooking organic kale and artichokes.  Such a simple combination, no heavy lifting, no exotic ingredients.  I bought the package of kale, I already had a big jar of artichoke hearts.  His recipe didn’t use marinated artichoke hearts so I asked him if he thought I could use them and he suggested that I use some of the oil from the jar in place of the olive oil he used.  

I covered the bottom of my braising pan with a little olive and sliced up a big clove of garlic and sauteed  it on medium low heat.  I cut the artichoke hearts in half and in thirds – they were loaded with oil and I tossed them into the pan.  I cooked them on slightly higher heat for about 3 minutes and then added the kale.  I put in a third of the package and after it wilted down, I added more.  After it was all in and wilted down I stirred it around to mix everything together.

I tasted it and it seemed slightly bitter to me. So I turned to the internet for the answer and sure enough it was there.  Unfortunately the way to reduce the bitterness is to blanch the kale first or to rub the leaves with salt, olive oil and lemon juice while still raw.

Guess what?  I added some salt and some lemon juice and it really did reduce the bitterness.  This is a very healthy dishe to serve;  Tonight it is the side dish to my tuna, fennel and cannolini bean salad.

English: Canned marinated artichoke hearts

Marinated Artichoke Hearts

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