Fresh artichokes in season are wonderful when prepared as simply as possible. A little garlic and butter, a splash of lemon, some onions and you're all set. Add some pasta and you have a meal.
If you've never worked with artichokes, or you're just brushing up on your skills, check out our photo tutorial on How to Trim an Artichoke.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin)
- 2 cups onions (chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves (plump, peeled, trimmed, and finely chopped)
- 8 to 10 artichokes (fresh, trimmed down to the hearts, chokes removed, and thinly sliced)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (fine)
- 1 pound penne (dried)
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 5 to 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted, at room temperature)
- For topping: Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, onions, garlic, artichokes, and half of the salt in a large straight-sided skillet. Cover and sauté over moderate heat, stirring often, until the artichokes are tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. If the mixture seems dry, add up to 3 more tablespoons olive oil.
Generously salt the pasta water and drop in the penne. Cook, stirring often until the penne is tender. Drain, saving about 1 cup of the cooking water, and transfer the penne to the sauté pan with the vegetables.
Add the lemon juice and butter, and toss to combine. If the mixture seems dry, add the cooking water, a few tablespoons at a time, until you have a nice, moist consistency. Serve right away sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Reprinted with permission from On Top of Spaghetti... by Johanne Killeen (Harper Collins 2006).