Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Baby, I was only Choking!

Pasta con Carciofini Frullate alla Menta, con Pancetta, Pomodorini & Parmigano
Pasta with Ground Baby Artichokes and Mint, with Bacon, Tomatoes & Parmesan Cheese


Baby artichokes, so small and tender and innocent, hehe! I so love to chop off their heads and cut out their hearts and cook them up for dinner! Kinda frightening, ain't I?

And this evening I was even more brutal. I decided to chop them up very finely in a blender, and turn them into a pulp. God save my mortal soul.  

This was another of those dishes this was another of those dishes, thought up on the spur of the moment, with a little inspiration, a touch of recklessness and a good portion of luck.

And wouldn't you know it, it turned out to be really delicious and so quick and easy!

I love these simple dishes, that need few ingredients, but have a lot of flavor and are healthy to boot. You can't really beat that!

All I needed to make this beautiful pasta dish, which was enough for 2 servings, was 3 baby artichokes, a handful of date tomatoes, 1 shallot, 1 lemon, a little finely chopped bacon, salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar, some fresh mint and parsley and some Parmesan cheese for grating.


Packed with Mediterranean flavor, this pasta dish made a real change from the usual. With a slightly bitter taste, from the artichoke and the lemon, balanced by the savory cheese and bacon and the fresh mint and parsley, this was refreshing and so nice on a hot Summer evening.


Preparation here is very simple. Cut the tomatoes into a relatively fine dice and the shallot... Well, don't fuss over it! It is going into a blender after all!

The artichokes need to be prepared in the usual way, meaning that the tough, outer leaves need to be removed, the top 2/3rds need to be cut off and discarded, the "choke" in the middle needs to be removed and then, they need to be cut into finer slices, to make the blending easier.


Put the artichoke slices, the shallot and the mint and parsley into a blender, or use an immersion blender as I did, add the juice of half a lemon, and whizz them up into oblivion!

Put the artichoke slices, the shallot and the mint and parsley into a blender, or use an immersion blender as I did, add the juice of half a lemon, and whizz them up into oblivion!

Keep blending away until you have a fine mash... It is of course a little dry, but still! Remember that you don't want to be choking on your chokes!


Start the diced bacon frying first, so that you have a nice coating of fat in the pan and then add the artichoke, herb mask. Stir-fry together with the bacon, for a good 3-4 minutes and in the meantime, bring the pasta water up to the boil. Keep stirring , add your pasta to the water, keep stirring some more and after 3 minutes of the pasta boiling in the saucepan, get ready to add it into the frying pan.

Add the pasta and plenty of water for it to continue boiling along with the artichokes. Keep stirring all the time and add a good pinch of sugar to balance the bitterness and sourness of the artichoke and the lemon.


Keep stirring and boiling for three or four minutes and then add the finely chopped tomatoes and a splash of olive oil. Continue boiling and stirring for another 2-3 minutes until the pasta is ready, the artichoke is well cooked through and the tomatoes have softened up and given off their good, sweet and fruity juices into the pasta.

Serve with plenty of finely chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese... And enjoy!


I know I am repeating myself here... But pasta dishes really do not have to have meat or tomato sauces, they do not need cream and they do not need to be heavy and loaded with fatty cheese... They can also simply be delicious! Haha! Like this!

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