They say that you get hungry by eating… Can that be true?
Do you ever sit at the table, not hungry in the least, then feel hunger pangs as you take your first bite?
Yes, spring might be late in coming, but not hunger – at least, not here. Every day we choose seasonal ingredients, easy to use and above all quick to cook. And if that is not the case – like today, that we are cooking spaghetti with artichokes – we plan in advance or use some tricks to speed up prep times. Curious?
Artichokes may seem treacherous and difficult to clean and cook, but I assure you that with our simple tips it will be a breeze:
*Fill a bowl of cold water with lemon juice to prevent the cleaned artichokes from oxidizing.
*Cut the tip, i.e. the part with the thorns and the hardest, by about 2 cm.
*De-leaf the artichoke, removing the outer leaves until you get to the more tender ones.
*Cut the end of the stem with the thorns and divide the artichoke vertically into two parts.
*Remove the beard-like fibres in the center, turn the artichoke upside down on the cutting board and cut it finely into julienne strips so as to make it cook faster.
*Put the cut artichoke in the bowl with the lemon juice and proceed to cut all the others.
Now you have no more excuses to leave artichokes on the shelf – they’re too good for that!
And not only that: they are also super versatile and can be cooked in many versions. Today we have decided for a lighter and healthier version, sautéing them in a pan with a spoonful of our extra virgin olive oil and a little water, along with finely chopped onion and garlic.
But now it’s lunch time, so here is our recipe!
Spaghetti with artichokes, ham, and toasted pine nuts
INGREDIENTS or 4 servings:
- 360 g di Spaghetti
- Course salt to taste
- 3 artichokes
- 2 ham slices (ca. 1 cm thick)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- Tropea onion to taste
- Pine nuts to taste
- Pecorino cheese to taste
- Boil a pot of water with coarse salt to taste. Heat a non-stick pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and brown a clove of garlic in it. On the side, finely chop the onion. Remove the garlic, pour the onion into the pan, and let it all flavour for about a minute.
- Add the previously cleaned and cut artichokes and let them cook, adding two tablespoons of water. Lower the heat to the minimum and half-cover with the lid.
- After about 10-15 minutes, or when they are soft, turn off the heat and set aside. In the meantime, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water for the time indicated on the package (in this case 6 minutes).
- Toss the spaghetti with the artichokes, add the ham cut into thin slices and the pine nuts previously toasted in a pan over medium-high heat. If necessary, add a little bit of the pasta’s cooking water to mix everything well.
- Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of pecorino cheese.