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Penne Pasta with Fresh Artichokes

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Fresh artichokes in season are wonderful 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.

Reprinted with permission from On Top of Spaghetti... by Johanne Killeen (Harper Collins 2006).

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 plump garlic cloves, peeled, trimmed, and finely chopped
  • 8 to 10 fresh artichokes, trimmed down to the hearts, chokes removed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 pound dried penne
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation:

Check out How to Trim an Artichoke. 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 are 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.

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