Another simple and essential recipe, this pasta with artichokes originally from Sardinia. Otherwise, the most essential recipe, because there is really only one flavor that dominates. the wonderfully complex of artichokes, bitter and with a vaguely acidic aftertaste of freshly cut hay.
In this case it is a typical flavor that, although slightly affected by the sweetness of a whole onion, is then darkened even more by the abundant parsley.
In conclusion it is the ideal dish for artichoke loverswhich is what all Sardinians and almost all Italians are.
Those who prefer a pasta with artichokes with a less intense flavor can at the end sweeten with cheese. Which, however, must be able to sweeten (hence ricotta, grana padano or other sweet cheeses, preferably cow’s milk) and in such quantities that they contribute to the whole, without everything tasting like cheese.
In any case, for the best result of this pasta with artichokes they are essential… the artichokes.
With respect to all varieties are good, however, being clear that the fundamental requirement is first and foremost and always freshness. If you only have slightly worn and leathery artichokes on hand, boil them briefly (4 minutes of boiling) before using them for the artichoke pasta. But, in general, if they are not fresh it is better to leave them alone and use them. the frozen. However, it must be added in double amounts. compared to the indicated doses. That is to say: instead of 4-5 whole fresh artichokes, 8-9 frozen artichoke heads are used, which are individually smaller and have no stem (which is the tastiest part!)
Also consider that artichokes should season the pasta, not serve as a garnish. That is why it is essential to cook them until they are very soft, and even better if they are a little soft. Our grandmothers would have let them cook until they fell apart and turned into a sauce. Without going to that, if it happens don’t worry: many prefer it!
The vegetable broth we use is simply purchased ready-made. It is also possible to use bouillon cubes: specifically half a bouillon cube dissolved in 250 ml of water, of which just over half is used for the artichoke pasta in our recipe. From experience I can say that in Sardinia many people simplify their lives not by using broth, but by using pasta cooking water. And this is definitely the best option if you don’t have vegetable broth. The king of this dish is the flavor of the artichoke: water is better than the classic broth or bouillon cubes.
- 360 g dry pasta, preferably short
- 4-5 young artichokes
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- vegetable broth
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Prepare the artichokes by discarding the tough outer leaves. Cut the stems and remove all the hard outer bark, then fillet them by cutting the inner pith into strips. Clean the flowers by removing the upper half with the tips, wash them, also removing the inner beard and cut them into rather thin segments. If not using them immediately, soak them in water with lemon juice, but drain them well immediately before using.
- In a large frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of oil and sauté the chopped onion and garlic clove together over very low heat. When the onion is translucent, add the artichokes and brown them for 5-6 minutes over moderate heat.
- Sprinkle the artichokes with a tablespoon of chopped parsley and mix to combine. Pour half a glass (about 100 ml) of light vegetable broth, cover and let it cook over low heat until the artichokes are very soft. If necessary, add a little more broth. A few minutes before turning off, season with salt and season with a piece of crumbled hot chilli.
- Drain the pasta al dente, pour it into the pan and sauté it in the sauce. Artichoke lovers appreciate this pasta as is, without added flavors. However, if you prefer to add cheese, use little ricotta with cow’s milk or even, better yet, grated Grana Padano. Add it with the heat off and mix, possibly helping with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Pasta with artichokes should be served immediately, piping hot.