Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...
This dish is why it's worth trying fresh artichokes
I admit it — I love artichokes, but cleaning them needs patience, effort and time. Because of that, sometimes I skip them in the market stalls. But when I do have the time to spare and it's artichoke season, I go for a simple sautéing with garlic and white wine. That's my favorite artichoke dish.
For this recipe, I combined the sautéed artichokes with shrimp and toasted pancetta. The result is so, so good. I promise you will not be disappointed and that this dish is completely worth the effort. Buon appetito!
14 ounces paccheri (or other kind of pasta, like penne, rigatoni, farfalle)
Fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
Prepare a bowl of about 4 cups of water with 1 lemon squeezed into it and the other lemon sliced, and leave them in the bowl. Set aside.
Clean the artichokes by cutting off most of the stem, leaving about 1/2 inch from the base. Slice off the top, and discard. Tear away the tough outer leaves by snapping them backward 1 at a time (you should feel the crispness when they are fresh). With a paring knife, trim the sides to make it even. With a spoon, dig inside the central part of the artichoke to remove the choke (hairy part). Put the cleaned artichoke in the bowl of lemon water, and repeat with the other artichokes.
Over medium-high heat, bring a big pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. In a large, dry saucepan over low-medium heat, fry the pancetta. Transfer to a plate, and discard the grease from the pancetta.
While waiting for the pancetta to cook, prepare the artichokes by draining and then slicing them into smaller pieces.
In the same saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic in olive oil. When the garlic is fragrant, add the artichokes, and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the 1/3 cup of water, cover, and simmer until the water evaporates.
Add the shrimp, and toss with the artichokes. When the shrimp change color, pour in the wine. Let the wine evaporate. Season with salt and lots of pepper. Turn off the heat, and cover when the liquid is reduced.
In the meantime, if the water for the pasta is boiling, add some salt, and cook the pasta following the package directions. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, but leave about a cup of the water used during cooking just in case it is needed.
Warm up the sauce on low heat, and add the pasta, pancetta and parsley. Mix well. Add a little bit of the water you set aside if it is needed. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Serve while hot.