|May 20, 2013||Posted by jcogswell1 under Dinner|
It’s no secret that I am absolutely crazy about artichokes. They are hands down, far and away, my favorite vegetable. I love them so much that I eat them all year round even though they are truly at the height of their season during spring.
Because they are so great in the spring, I basically take that as an invitation to up my artichoke eating quota from once a week to twice a week at a minimum. And while I am content eating them steamed with butter or stuffed with breadcrumbs, herbs and parmesan (or just about any way you could think of) I also love to incorporate them into pasta.
Removing the leaves and shaving or cutting the heart very thinly allows the artichoke to cook significantly faster than if it was left whole, so you can get this on the table in no time.
When you combine the fresh artichokes with the creamy and tangy goat cheese and lots of fresh lemon juice, the resulting recipe screams spring flavors. The only trick to this recipe is making sure the artichokes don’t turn brown. They oxidize quickly, but the process can be slowed down by soaking the artichokes in lemon water.
If you can’t find fresh artichokes, feel free to substitute in canned whole artichoke hearts. You won’t get the fresh texture or flavor, but the combination of flavors will still be delicious. Enjoy!
Artichoke Pasta with Lemon and Goat Cheese – Serves 4
1 lb bowtie pasta
4 artichokes, leaves and tough outer part of stem removed, hearts sliced
Juice of three lemons
4-6 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup EVOO
S+P to taste
To prep the artichokes, fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze in the juice of one lemon. Once the juice is squeezed, add the lemons to the water. Once the water is ready, you can start to remove the leaves of the artichoke. I think the easiest way to do this is to cut the top half of the leaves off the artichoke entirely, then start removing the tough outer leaves one by one. Once you have removed the tough leaves, you can start to cut off the thinner, softer leaves that are closer to the heart. Once you just have a few layers of thin leaves, cut the artichoke in half length wise so that the choke and heart are exposed. Using a grapefruit knife or spoon, entirely remove the choke. Next up, use a vegetable peeler to cut down the stem to remove the tough outside. Once you have done all this, place the artichokes in the water until you are ready to use (here is a great tutorial of how to do this whole process).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the pasta and cook per package directions. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, remove the artichokes from the water and slice very thinly. Place back in the water until you are ready to cook.
In a large skillet, add the EVOO and heat over a medium flame until hot. Drain the sliced artichokes and drop into the hot oil. Stir often to make sure the artichokes don’t burn. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until the artichokes are just tender.
Add the drained pasta to the pan with the artichokes and oil and stir to combine. Add the juice of two lemons. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and add crumbles of goat cheese. Serve warm.
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