Olive Leaf Pasta with Artichokes

Foglie d’ulivo con carciofi – Olive leaf pasta with artichokes

pasta d'ulivo

This is the first dish I made this season. I invited a few people over before a movie and laid this dish out on the table to get the artichoke season rolling.
Foglie d ‘ulivo is simply a flat pasta in the shape of leaves from the olive tree. Any other flat, short pasta will be fine.

Here’s the recipe:

Remember my golden ‘al dente‘ rule for cooking pasta. If the packet says it has a cooking time of 11 minutes, you should be ready serve and have your guests seated in 10 minutes.  Remember that the pasta is still cooking (overcooking) during all that extra fussing around between draining the pasta and serving. So don’t put the pasta on until you know you are going to be ready. By the way, this pasta dish doesn’t get drained. It’s almost soupy in consistency but not a soup. All the water we cook the vegetables and pasta in is reserved and absolutely full of the yummiest flavour. Taste for yourself.

Ingredients

500g/1,1pounds Foglie d’ulivo pasta. (any other short pasta is suitable)
4 large potatoes (peeled & diced large)
1 Leak (roughly chopped)
8 artichokes + stems
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 small handful mint leaves (roughly chopped)
1 large handful parsley leaves (finely chopped)
I lemon
Parmiggiano or hard pecorino for grating
Salt & pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Method

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze in the juice from the lemon to ready yourself for the artichokes you are about to cut up.

Cut the stems from the artichoke (see  Trimming the Stem) chop them finely and keep them aside for a moment.

Prepare the artichoke as normal (see Preparing artichokes) and put them directly in the lemon/acidulated water to keep them from browning. For this dish I use a quarter artichoke as a garnish so keep 8 quarters and chopped the remainder into thin wedges.

In a very large & heavy based pot, place the garlic, leak, mint leaves and chopped artichoke stems to fry off gently in a little olive oil. We just want to soften and sweeten these, not brown, so low gentle heat is best.

Add the peeled and diced potatoes to the pot and cover with plenty of cold water to not only cover the potatoes but also to later accommodate the pasta. Salt the water and bring to the boil.

Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and drain the artichokes of their acidulated water. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a separate pan over a moderate heat and place the artichokes in the pan to toss a little until they have a little golden colour.  We don’t want them crispy, just a little golden.

Toss these artichokes into the large pot with the potatoes and allow the artichoke to simmer away for a further 20 minutes.

Fish out the 8 quarter artichokes and keep them aside and warm for your garnish.

Increase the heat until boiling and now add the pasta and most of the chopped parsley, keeping a little to sprinkle on before serving.

Stir the pasta occasionally and gently so as not to completely disfigure the tender artichokes.

Remove the pot from the heat when the pasta is al dente. DO NOT DRAIN. Use a slotted spoon to serve into deep dishes.

Sprinkle with some chopped parsley. Place the quarter artichoke on to garnish, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and offer your guests some cracked black pepper and some grated parmigiano or hard pecorino.

Yeah! Tell me about it.

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