This is a pasta dish I made years ago and I’ve been meaning to revisit it but, until now, was unable to find high-quality baby artichokes. Fine, yes. This dish can be made with canned/jarred/frozen artichoke hearts. It could even be prepared with fresh, large artichokes. However the baby ones are so cute and are rather low-maintenance, prep-wise, than their larger, more burdensome cousins.
For our D.C. readers, do check out the Kuhn Orchard stand at the 14th and U Farmers’ Market. David and Mary Margaret are lovely people with equally lovely produce. I understand they will have baby artichokes this Saturday. So, consider making the following pasta.
Spaghettini with artichokes, mint and garlic: Spaghettini con Carciofi, Menta e Aglio
20 baby artichokes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 cloves garlic, peeled
6 ounces Frascati or other dry white wine
1 tablespoon red chile flakes
1/2-cup mint leaves
1 pound of pasta
Peel and trim the artichokes, leaving the stems intact. Place in acidulated water (1 whole lemon, juiced and tossed into a bowl of water).
Place the olive oil and garlic cloves in a 12 to 14-inch pan and place over medium high heat. Cook until the garlic is light golden brown. Drain the artichokes and place in a pan with the garlic and cook until tender (occasionally spritzing with wine, when necessary, to slow the cooking), about 10 minutes. Add the chili flakes and mint, stir through, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
Cook the spaghettini according to the package directions, until tender yet al dente. Drain the spaghettini and toss into the pan with the artichokes. Toss all over high heat 1 minute, then divide evenly among four warmed pasta bowls and serve immediately.