Wednesday, May 9, 2012

simple sunday pasta

i studied abroad in florence, italy my junior year in college and the biggest take away from that whole experience was, hands down, the food.  i took a weekly cooking class from 8 pm - 11 pm - wine and cigarettes included.  what? i was in italy!  the best part was that  i actually got class credit for it.  my final exam was making an artichoke omelette (and we're not talking about phoning it in with the canned hearts i am using below).  the point i'm trying to make is that i learned how to cook simple pastas, true italian style.  here's one of the recipes i made this past sunday.  it's so simple and most everything is straight out of the pantry.

please note, this is a vegetarian pasta -- jeff isn't the biggest fan, because as i've said before he doesn't consider dishes without meat a meal.  he would deny it, but i'm telling you, it's true! 

artichoke pasta
  • 1/2 bag of a (16 .oz) bag of fusilli pasta (so just 8 oz. of pasta)
  • 2 - 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (might need more depending on your preference)
  • 1 (28 oz.) can of whole peeled san marzano tomatoes
  • crushed red pepper
  • black pepper
  • 1 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts
  • maldon sea salt
  • pecorino romano
heat olive oil in large skillet.  add garlic (strongly recommend getting a good garlic press) and cook for a few minutes.  add in artichoke hearts and let it cook on a medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.   then add in the tomatoes (smush these babies with your hands when you add them to the sauce pan, but watch out because you can very easily end up with tomato on your walls), add maldon salt (a couple of pinches) and crushed red pepper & black pepper (to taste).  let it simmer for 45 minutes.  boil pasta separately (use maldon sea salt in the water).

when the sauce is ready, add a couple of spoonfuls of of pasta water (very important).  strain pasta, put back in pot and add a little olive oil to coat the pasta.  add tomato sauce to pasta and toss together.  grate pecorino romano over and you're ... done!


  1. yum. i just made artichoke dip for the teacher appreciation lunch. i'm all on the artichoke train...why the spoonfuls of pasta water, though?