Orecchiete with Artichokes

I just adore Lidia Bastianich of…Lidia’s Italy.  Watching her show is just so relaxing, so low-key as she prepares the simplest of  Italy’s regional foods, turning them into a gourmet feast.  When I make some of her spectacular dishes, armed with one of her wonderful cookbooks, it’s like having her there with me in my kitchen. 
With Spring’s arrival this coming Sunday, March 20th, one of my favorite veggies is the Artichoke; mix it with some imported pasta and you have a meal fit for a king, queen, prince or whichever assorted royalty sits at your table….. 
                                                             
I give you…..Orecchiete with Artichokes…you will just love this one, trust me!
                                                                  9
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cups water
8 small spring artichokes, (about 3/4 pound)
6 quarts salted water
salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup spring onions, chopped
4 scallions , including 3/4 of the green part, trimmed
1 teaspoon peperoncino, (crushed red pepper)
1 cup young zucchini , diced (1/2-inch)
2 cups young fava beans, shelled, blanched and peeled
1 cup young peas, blanched
2 cups chicken stock, hot
1 pound orecchiette
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
In a small bowl stir the lemon juice into 3 cups of water. Pluck all the tough outer leaves from the artichokes, stopping when the leaves are all yellow. Cut off the tough tips of the leaves. With a vegetable peeler or paring knife peel the stems and the bases of the leaves down to the pale green flesh. Then cut the artichokes in half through the stem. With a teaspoon scrape out the furry choke and the purple-tipped leaves, leaving only the yellow leaves attached to the heart. Slice the artichoke lengthwise into very thin slices and quickly immerse in lemon water to prevent them from turning brown.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large, deep skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and scallions and saute’ until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain the artichokes well and add to skillet. Season the artichokes lightly with salt and stir in the peperoncino. Sauté the artichokes, stirring continuously, until they are softened and begin to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add zucchini, fava beans, and peas to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and continue stirring until the zucchini is softened, about 5 minutes. Add a small amount (about 1/4 cup) of the hot stock. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is almost evaporated. Continue adding stock and stirring, until all the stock is added and the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. There should be enough of the liquid to make a sauce that lightly coats the vegetables. Add salt to taste.

Meanwhile, stir the orecchiette into the boiling water. Cover the pot and reheat to boiling, stirring once or twice. When the water returns to a boil uncover the pot. Cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 12 minutes.

Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta well and return it to the pot over low heat. Add the artichoke sauce and the butter, tossing until the butter is melted. If necessary, add enough of the reserved pasta water to make enough of a creamy sauce to coat the pasta. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the grated cheese. Toss well and transfer to a warmed serving platter or individual bowls. Serve immediately.

Note: If spring onions are unavailable, omit them and double the amount of scallions called for and….I sometimes add Swiss Chard instead of Peas. 

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Comments

  1. Ms. Blasé says:

    Looking at this reminded me that I've never cooked with artichokes before!!… and I have no idea what they taste like!!! But I'm willing to try them, though, because this looks scrumptious!

  2. This looks delicious! I just started cooking with artichokes and experimenting with different Italian recipes. I will have to try this for sure!

  3. MMMM this sounds DELIGHTFUL! Looks like I know what I want for dinner 🙂It's a week of giveaways on A Taste of T

  4. KerrieLynn says:

    Hi, I am joining in “The Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop” and I am following you now! If you are able, I would love a follow back. Thank you!~KerrieLynn ღೋ☙❤KLsCupboard.blogspotKLs Cupboard on FacebookKLs Cupboard on Twitter

  5. Morgan says:

    I saw this on the dashboard and could not wait to check out the recipe! It has been far too many months without artichokes don't you agree?? Eating the screen right now!

  6. Slidecutter says:

    I heart all of you!@Morgan….I made those photos Scratch n'Sniff…just tap on your screen, lol!The best thing about dishes like this is that you can substitute any of the items you might not be fond of for another veggie. Of course, if you want to add chicken or even shrimp, that works well too!Enjoy!

  7. Alida says:

    This sounds so tasty!

  8. Christina says:

    This sounds so good, I love artichokes!

  9. Crystal says:

    mmmm mmm mmmmmm!!! THat looks so good. How about this…I'll let you make that for me anytime!!! 🙂 Love ya!!

  10. Colie says:

    I have not had anything to eat in days because my kids have the stomach flu and I am a weirdo but this delicious looking goodness is making me want to eat again!!!PS: I passed along a blog award to you and your sweet self – go check it out at http://www.thecoliechronicles.com 🙂

  11. Branson says:

    This looks so yummy! When I was pregnant, I craves artichoke hearts all the time!

  12. Mika says:

    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog! I can't imagine cooking that much corned beef and colcannon! lol!This recipe looks amazing by the way!!! I will have to try it!

  13. Thanks for visiting http://homesandbabies.blogspot.com. I appreciate your comments… this looks fab! I hope the rain stops soon!

  14. Slidecutter says:

    Thanks all you lovely people for your comments..and smiles!Very special smiles to Colie; I'm still glowing over that award!@Crystal..when you and the little dudelings head to NY…I'll be happy to cook for ya'll!@Mika..I love cooking for a gathering, even a crowd. Just something about huge pots simmering away and trays of good food to serve.@Branson…lol again on the cravings; you heard about mine when I left you a blog comment.@Ms.Blase…do try Artichokes; I'm sure you will like them

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