Pasta with fresh artichokes and spinach
A great recipe to try if you've never cooked artichokes before. Made with garlic butter, fresh spinach and parmesan, this dish is truly delicious, and makes a few artichokes into a full meal.
- 4 globe artichokes
- 3 cloves garlic (or more)
- 100 g baby spinach leaves, washed and dried.
- 500 g spelt spaghetti (or any pasta)
- 50 g Organic Butter
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- lemon juice
- 8 Sundried Tomatoes
- parmesan or any tasty hard cheese
- sea salt and black pepper.
- 3⁄4 full cream milk
First, to prepare the artichokes. Fill a bowl with water and add the juice of a small lemon. Place the cut artichoke pieces into this water as you go to prevent them browning too much. Pull off any tough outer leaves (perhaps the bottom 1/3 of the outer leaves) and discard. Cut the stem off, and peel the outside green away, keeping just the inner white of the stem. Cut the artichoke in half, and check to see if the choke needs to be removed. (the choke is the developing thistle, which is tough and inedible. If it looks kind of hairy and fiborous, then scrape it out with a teaspoon, but often it is underdeveloped, so doesn't need to be removed. Cut the tough tips from the leaves, and slice the remaining heads in half again. It doen'st matter that the artichokes will fall apart during cooking.
Place the sundried tomatoes into a bowl and cover with boiling water to soften. Set aside. (if you have sundried tomatoes packed in oil, just skip this step)
In a large, heavy based frypan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the artichokes, a squeeze of lemon juice and a good pinch of sea salt, and cook over a medium to low heat until the leaves soften and start to caramelise. Add more butter when they start to stick, as well as 1/4 cup of water once or twice whilst they are cooking, to stop them from drying out. Stir often to prevent burning. After about 20 minutes, the artichokes should be soft and browned. Finely chop the sundried tomatoes and add them to the pan, along with 1/2 cup of milk. Place a lid on the pan, and turn the heat down low.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water as per packet instructions. When the pasta has 5 minutes cooking time left, crush the garlic and add with the olive oil to the artichokes. Roughly chop the spinach leaves and stir though. When the pasta is cooked, drain then add to the artichokes, stiring through to coat.
Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan and cracked black pepper.
Adding the garlic right at the end of cooking brings out a stronger garlic flavour. Add it early if you prefer a milder taste.
This pasta is fairly rich, so serve with a good green salad with rocket and balsamic vinegar.