Lemony Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts

I love artichokes. I get a huge kick out of seeing their symmetrical little shapes all stacked up at the market this time of year. Growing up in California, I gorged myself on them… and I burned the roof of my mouth more times than I can count because I can never wait for them to cool down before digging in.

Until recently, I would order fresh artichoke dishes in restaurants, but I would never prepare them at home. They just seemed like too much work, and canned artichoke hearts are pretty fantastic. But it’s artichoke season, and we keep getting beautiful artichokes in our CSA basket. I am racked with guilt every time I neglect them and they go bad, so I started playing around with this pasta.

The ingredients are simple, but they complement each other so well. The artichokes are earthy and buttery, and the lemon adds a touch of brightness. And cream and Parmesan are always a good idea; use just a little for a lighter dish, or be heavy-handed for a decadent, creamy sauce.

To be clear, you can make this pasta with canned artichoke hearts, and it will be delicious. But if you have some in-season artichokes just begging to be used… well, here’s you go.

Lemony Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts

Yield: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 T. butter
  • 8 oz./226 g dried spaghetti
  • Zest of 2-3 lemons
  • 2 T. lemon juice (plus more for cooking artichokes)
  • Generous splash of cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 6-8 whole artichokes (or 1 can artichoke hearts)

Instructions

  1. Cook artichokes. If using whole, fresh artichokes, roast them with garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice according to this recipe. If using canned artichoke hearts, rinse and drain them. Sauté the hearts with 1 T. of butter, a spoonful of minced garlic and a splash of lemon juice. Roughly chop and set aside.
  2. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook pasta until just shy of al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 3 T. butter in a large skillet. Add lemon zest and cook for a couple minutes. Pour in cream. Use tongs to add the cooked pasta, lemon juice, artichokes and Parmesan. Toss, adding a few spoonfuls of pasta water to thin the sauce if needed.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and a splash of olive oil. Serve with additional Parmesan and lemon zest on the side.
http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/03/05/lemony-spaghetti-with-artichoke-hearts/

 

Gumbo-Filled Arancini (Rice Balls)

We made a big pot of chicken-sausage gumbo last weekend and had just enough leftovers to make this wondrous dish.

Gumbo-filled arancini. Life-changing, y’all. I’m obsessed.

We fell in love with arancini – Sicilian fried rice balls – when we lived in Naples (the ones filled with meat sauce are my favorite) and have been dying to try this New Orleans variation for some time.

Do yourself a favor, and take the following steps immediately:

  1. Make a huge pot of gumbo – we played around with a combination of recipes (one from our friend Kathleen and one from The New Orleans Cookbook) – and invite people you like to come share it with you. This is an excellent idea for, say, a football game. Bonus points if it’s the Saints game.
  2. The next day, make these gumbo-filled arancini, and prepare to be amazed.
arancini-preparation
Prepping the gumbo and rice balls
rice-balls
Starting to look more like arancini
arancini-before-frying
Breaded arancini, ready for frying
gumbo-arancini
Gumbo arancini with extra gumbo

Gumbo-Filled Arancini

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Gumbo-Filled Arancini

Ingredients

  • Leftover rice
  • Leftover gumbo
  • 3-4 eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil
  • Hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Take the rice out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you start cooking so it has time to warm up a bit. Take the gumbo out of the refrigerator just before you are ready to use it.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, blend leftover rice with 2 beaten eggs until it is slightly sticky and holds together.
  3. Beat remaining egg(s) in a small bowl and set aside. Pour breadcrumbs into a separate bowl and set next to the egg mixture.
  4. For each rice ball, make two small patties out of the rice. Add a dollop of gumbo to the center of one patty, then place the second patty on top. Form the two patties into a round shape.
  5. Dip each rice ball in egg mixture, then roll in breadcrumbs.
  6. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a pan until it is hot but not smoking. Fry arancini in the oil, turning so that each side turns golden brown. Remove from pan and place on paper towels.
  7. Serve with a small bowl of gumbo and extra hot sauce.
http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2014/11/03/gumbo-filled-arancini-rice-balls/