Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Dream, in Red, White & Green!

Pasta con Fave, Carciofini, Pomodori Secche & Ricotta Salata
Pasta with Broad Beans, Baby Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Salted Ricotta Cheese


How pretty and red, white and green is this lovely platter of pasta? There you have it- the Italian flag, right on your plate... and edible too!

I have made a similar dish to this one before, using mint and peas in combination with artichoke and which is a classic and a favorite- but this evening, I decided to try something just an tad different... and I am so glad that I did!


Tender broad beans and tangy sun-dried tomatoes are also a classic combination to go with pasta in Sicily... and my favorite way it to then sprinkle the pasta with crispy bread crumbs. But again- that would have been too simple. So instead, I paired the beans and sun-dried tomatoes with the artichokes, left out the mint and added parsley and replaced Parmesan cheese with salted Ricotta... and the result was quite fantastic!


For each potion of pasta you make you will need 1 baby artichoke, 1 handful of beans, 2 sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 of a Spring onion, a little parsley and a little salted ricotta for grating.


 A simple feast- fit for a king... and for you and your family or friends in any case!


How juicy and delicious does that look? I would say that it looks mighty fine if you ask me!


To make it, shell the beans and also remove the white, outer membrane, so that you only have the tender, sweet insides... a little more work, but so worth it!

Trim away the tough outer leaves of the artichokes, peel the stem, cut away the top, generously and then split them into quarters. Remove the choke with a simple diagonal cut... and then pop them into a pot of salted water to boil for 15 minutes... we will be able to use the same saucepan to boil the pasta in. Sensible thinking!

And whilst that is happening, make use of the time to slice up the onion and the sun-dried tomatoes...


After boiling for 10-15 minutes, transfer the artichoke quarters to a frying pan with the Spring onion, a nice splash of olive oil- and a touch of garlic should you prefer. Fry them until they begin to brown slightly and in the meantime, cook that pasta!


By the time the pasta is half done, after around 5 minutes or so, the artichokes will also be lovely and lightly browned- and ready to move on with the next step!


Next, add the pasta along with plenty of the water it has been boiling in, add the sun-dried tomatoes, plenty of pepper and freshly grated nutmeg and allow it to bubble-on and cook to completion... of course whilst soaking up the flavor of the artichokes and onion.


After a further 3-4 minutes of cooking, the pasta will have soaked up those good juices, the artichokes will have softened further and the beans and tomatoes will be super- tender and delicious! Easy!


It's always the way with this kind of pasta-dish... all the the good stuff seems to sink to the bottom of the saucepan when you try to serve it up! So simply take the pasta... and then spoon the rest on top- don't fret over it!


Add a nice sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley, grate with salted Ricotta cheese, add pepper and a last drizzle of olive oil... and enjoy!


 OMG, I feel like I have to make this again in a real hurry!

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