Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pasta with Artichokes and Pancetta

In this pasta, the sweet taste of the artichokes combines with the sharp flavor of the Parmesan cheese, and the spicy aroma of the pancetta

Today I want to show you how to prepare this pasta with artichokes and pancetta. This is one of my favorite recipes: easy and tasty, and as usual, ready in no more than 30 minutes.
As you probably have noticed, I like to buy and use fresh vegetables in my recipes.
Artichoke though is one exception. Cleaning fresh artichokes is quite an elaborate job. It involves peeling off leaves, trimming stems and, I know!!, removing "hair". And after all the hard work, what I find most annoying is ending up with a tiny artichoke heart, as small as a walnut, when I started off with a big, fist-sized artichoke! All reasons why, I generally opt to buy frozen artichoke hearts. They are tender and juicy, and ready to use!
In this pasta, you will find the sweet taste of the artichokes, together with the sharp and nutty flavor of the Parmesan cheese, and the spicy aroma of the pancetta. What can I say? Pancetta, like bacon, makes everything taste delicious!
Here is the recipe for you:
Ingredients serving 4 people:
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 6 oz artichoke hearts (I used Trader Joe's frozen artichoke hearts)
  • 3 oz (one package) of thinly sliced pancetta
  • half cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 12 oz of short pasta, I used Barilla gemelli pasta, but you could also use other shapes like penne or fusilli.
Preparation time: 30 minutes

Step 1: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. And start cooking the pasta when it boils.
Saute' the chopped onion in about three tablespoons of olive oil, over medium heat, for a couple of minutes.

Step 2: Run the artichoke hearts under running water, if frozen. Cut in thin slices, and add to the onion. Saute' for a couple of minutes. Lower the flame to medium low, and cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Please note: the pancetta is relatively salty, so don't overdo with salt at this point.

Step 3: Cut the pancetta in small strips, add to the artichokes and saute' for another couple of minutes.

Step 4: Add the cream to the skillet and let cook for one minute.

Step 5: Drain the pasta when ready, and toss in the skillet, together with the Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve immediately.
Buon Appetito!

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