Fettucine alla Crema di Carciofi
I really miss artichokes, they are easy to find here, but they are prohibitively expensive. I feel like it would be a pity to reduce them to their hearts to cook with, so I simply never buy them. Charleston recently got a Trader Joe’s, which is a lot of fun. Not my favorite place to buy groceries, but they have a few products that I like and it is, well, fun. One thing that they sell are skinny little artichokes, they aren’t great quality, but they are marked at a good price. Not something to get excited about, but I did because I knew that we could shave them down to their hearts and toss them in a pasta and not have any feelings of guilt for how expensive they were and throwing 3/4 of them away. I am my mother’s daughter.
Then again I have to say, that as much as I love artichokes, I don’t enjoy preparing them that much. It takes a lot of work and that work is messy.
I was in a TESOL certificate class just about every weekend for the past two months and my dear husband was playing Mr. Mom. It was great, he loved all of the time he got to spend with our daughter, I know she loved it too and even though the house would always be a mess when I came home, he would have made something delicious for our dinner. A role reversal, he usually comes home to a delicious meal and a messy house, at least he can now understand why only one thing can get done.
He made this wonderful crema di carciofi over pasta for dinner one night, which was delicious. It was so delish that I bought more cheap artichokes to replicate the meal in order to share with you!
Fettucine alla Crema di Carciofi
- 4 medium sized artichokes, trimmed and cleaned
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- 1 cup of crème fraiche or heavy cream
- ½ lb of fettuccine
- ½ cup of chopped fresh flat parsley
- 1 whole lemon
- salt to taste
Prepare a bowl with cold water and lemon juice.
Clean the artichokes by eliminating their outer leaves; you can do this by bending them and snapping them off. Do this until you get to the leaves that are lighter in color. Cut off the tip of the central cone, to eliminate the tougher green end of the leaves. Cut the heart in half and scoop out the inside chokes with a knife or a small spoon. Cut the heart of the artichoke into thin slices and immerse in the lemon water. If your artichokes have stems, cut the stem off and peel it of its outer skin. Chop into small cubes to be used in the sauce as well, it would be shame to throw them away.
Heat oil in a deep skillet or a wide saucepan over medium heat and add onions. When the onion becomes transparent, add the artichokes and the white wine. Sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the artichokes are soft, if the sauce starts to dry out, add water to the pan.
Pour the contents of the pan into a Cuisinart or a blender, add the crème fraiche and purée. Return to the pan and leave over low heat to keep warm until the pasta is cooked and ready to be tossed.
In the meantime, fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor. Once you have plated the pasta, add the chopped parsley.
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