Sicilian Anelletti Noodles with Baby Artichokes, Peas, Mint & Lemon
I hadn't made "anelletti" in a while, those slinky, little Sicilian pasta rings that we love back in the old country- although they seem mainly to be used to make the "timballo" type of pasta bakes- which I find to be quite a shame!
So I set about making a lighter, easier and different kind of dish with them, combining artichoke, mint and peas- a match made in food heaven! And a treat in every way!
The Summer may seem to be over for us here in Frankfurt, Germany, but I was still not ready to be making a pasta bake just yet- which would be the normal thing to make with anelletti- and fear not! I will be making that for sure, come Autumn or Winter! This evening though, I had artichokes and fresh peas there- and of course had to make something to be worthy of their deliciousness... and this is what I chose to do!
3 baby artichokes, 2 handfuls of peas, 2 handfuls of pasta, a half of a red onion, the juice and zest of half a small lemon, fresh mint and fresh parsley and a lovely, rich and satisfying bowl of pasta was born!
If we had the weather that we should be having for late August over here, I may have been tempted to allow this to cool, to be enjoyed as a pasta salad, which would also work wonderfully with this blend of flavors... but with things being what they are, I decided to eat and enjoy it, hot and steaming and straight from the frying pan. In my own self-defense... it was a little bit hard to resist!
Slice the and chop the zest into really fine slivers, chop the red onion into a really fine dice, pop the peas out of their pods and clean and cut the baby artichokes into eighths. Nothing complicated here!
Start off by frying the artichoke slices in just a touch of olive oil until they are golden brown and pop a saucepan of water on to the stove top to begin to boil, ready to prepare our 2 cups of pasta with.
Whilst the pasta is boiling in plenty of salted water, add the peas to the artichoke slices, along with enough water to cover them and allow both to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as necessary- basically until all of the water has evaporated away.
Once the water has evaporated away, add the finely chopped red onion and a splash of olive oil and continue by stir-frying the mixed vegetables until they become golden and brown. In the meantime, remove the anelletti from the stove top, pour off most of the water and set them to one side for a moment whilst you get the other ingredients together...
Keep frying until everything is sizzling and looking as wonderful as this!
Next, add the pasta, the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper and a little nutmeg and stir together well.
Allow the pasta and the other ingredients to cook together for 5 minutes or so, then add the finely chopped mint and parsley and a little finely chopped lemon zest.
Toss everything together, add a last little touch of olive oil, sprinkle with the last few slivers of lemon zest- and you are now ready to sit down and enjoy this wonderful plate of pasta... at last!
And doesn't that just look good enough to eat?