Monday, July 25, 2011

Artichoke Mania Part 3: Pasta

Whew! Now I had cleaned and braised my artichokes. It seems like a lot of work, but one batch of braised hearts can make at least 2 main courses (or you can make more at a time). I've had the jarred hearts, and I feel the homemade ones were much tastier. Uses? Let me count the ways. You can work it into a salad (use the braising liquid for the base of a vinaigrette), I made artichoke risotto with grilled fish, you can chop them up and make dip, or you can even make a pasta sauce.

The wonderful bit about artichokes is how earthy they make a dish taste. This recipe, from Tom Colicchio's "Think Like a Chef", was instantly a hit in my house. It's a comforting dish and easy to make (as long as you have the artichokes on hand). I love the beans in it, don't leave them out!

Pasta with Artichokes, Cabbage, and White Beans
Adapted from Tom Colicchio

4 braised artichokes (or 1 medium jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained), sliced
1/2 head Savoy cabbage, cut into large pieces
5 green onions, trimmed and sliced into 3 inch pieces
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup chicken stock
1 pound pasta (I prefer rotini)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan or Romano cheese

Heat a large pot with water until boiling.  Salt, add cabbage and cook until just barely tender, 3 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Return pot to high heat with fresh water (and salt) and boil pasta until al dente, 8 minutes.  Drain.

In a large pot over medium heat, add artichoke hearts, cabbage, green onions, beans, chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Season with thyme, salt, and pepper.  Add pasta and butter and stir, adjust seasonings to desired level.  Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.