meatless thursday . #19 {artichoke asparagus pasta}

Last weekend Goldfarb and I were invited to dinner at the home of some friends where the lovely Renee Erickson of Boat Street Cafe was doing a cooking demonstration followed by a wonderful spring meal.  I’ve been in love with Boat Street since I moved to Seattle – when original owner Susan Kaplan set up shop on north Lake Union. When I first joined JDRF, our office was located about a mile and half from the restaurant and every opportunity to have lunch there was such a treat.  After doing an apprenticeship at Boat Street and traveling abroad to learn more about food, Renee returned to Seattle and took over ownership of the restaurant.  Repeatedly named one of the city’s top restaurants, Boat Street Cafe, now located in the regrade, is one of our favorite places to share a great dinner with friends.  There were so many delicious things from last Saturday’s dinner but one thing that stood out were the artichokes  – carciofi alla romana.  I loved the herbacious sauce so much that I decided to take the recipe and tweak it a little to turn it into a pasta dish.  It is easy to make and utilizes fresh spring produce. Asparagus and artichokes are probably two of the hardest vegetables to pair with wine, but with a little help from the people at Pike and Western Wine Shop, the  Grüner Veltliner {09 Gobelsburger Kamptal, Austria} – worked out perfectly.  This affordable white wine is easy to drink, has the slight aroma of vegetables and light taste of peaches.  It’s the wine I used in the sauce and what we had with dinner. 
Artichoke Asparagus Pasta
adapted from Renee Erickson’s Carciofi alla Romana 
serves four
6 baby artichokes
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 tbsp. salt 
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups white wine
kosher salt + pepper
10 medium asparagus stems
1 lb. fine fettucini {or any other thin long pasta}
¼ cup toasted pinenuts
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
Fill a large bowl halfway with water and the lemon juice.  Pull off the tough outer leaves of the artichokes until you get to the lighter, softer leaves.  With a paring knife, peel the stems.  If there are any sharp points on the top of the artichoke, slice off the top.  Cut the artichokes into fourths and put into the lemon water. {There shouldn’t be any chokes, but if there are, scoop them out.  You can use regular artichokes for this dish, following the same cleaning/preparation steps.}
Into a large pot, put the garlic, mint, salt, olive oil and wine. Remove the artichokes from the bowl of lemon water {keeping the liquid} and place in the pot.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and cook until the artichokes are tender, about 40-45 minutes.
While the artichokes are cooking, prepare the asparagus but snapping off the tough stem bottoms.  With a vegetable peeler, moving from tip to stem bottom, cut the asparagus spears into long strips.  Place in the lemon water.
When the artichokes are done, remove from the pot using a slotted spoon; set aside.  Return heat to high and reduce cooking liquid to half.  Cook pasta to al dente.  Drain noodles, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.  Add noodles to the pot with the artichoke cooking liquid tossing gently to coat the noodles.  If needed, add some of the pasta water to extend the sauce.  Drain asparagus and add to noodles along with the artichokes.  Salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently.  Divide among four bowls sprinkling with pinenuts and goat cheese. 
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1 Response to meatless thursday . #19 {artichoke asparagus pasta}

  1. Andy says:

    I found your recipe because I bought a bunch of artichokes and asparagus to go with a bottle of Leth Grüner Veltliner. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them until I came across this.

    This was definitely one of the most delicious things I have ever cooked. So good. Thank you.

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