An Artichoke Sauce for Pasta
I found this recipe on a box of penne pasta last night that I cooked for my kid's dinner. It's a simple, straightforward recipe that I adapted a little, but I can't wait to try it.
I may change an ingredient here and there and prefer my cooking technique to what they offer, but they are a great recipe resource. You figure they want to sell their product so they will not put a dog of a recipe on their package.
Artichoke hearts are the innermost, edible part of the artichoke (Cynara scolymus) flower bud. The artichoke is a large, thistle-like vegetable with a green, cone-shaped structure made up of overlapping bracts, known as the artichoke "head" or "bud." The meaty, tender portion at the base of the bracts, known as the heart, is considered the artichoke's most prized and flavorful part.
I only use frozen artichoke hearts or jarred in water. I've found for this dish and many others, artichokes in oil overwhelm the flavor of the artichoke.
Penne pasta is a versatile and popular variety of pasta characterized by its tube-shaped, cylindrical pieces with diagonally cut ends. Its name, "penne," is derived from the Italian word for "quills" or "feathers," reflecting its shape resembling a quill pen. Made from durum wheat flour and water, penne pasta has a firm texture and holds sauces well, making it suitable for various dishes.
Penne pasta comes in various sizes, including regular (or "smooth") and ridged (or "rigate") varieties. The ridges on penne rigate help sauces cling to the pasta, enhancing flavor and creating a more satisfying eating experience.
Commonly used in Italian cuisine, penne pasta pairs well with various sauces, from rich tomato-based sauces to creamy Alfredo or pesto sauces. It is also frequently used in baked pasta dishes like pasta bakes and casseroles, where its shape allows it to hold up to baking without becoming mushy. With its versatility and ability to complement various flavors, penne pasta is a staple in kitchens worldwide.
Try to avoid the "parmesan" cheese that comes in the green tub. I don't know what that is. Best to buy real Parmesan cheese and grate it when you need it. It will be fresher and have a much better flavor.
You either love them or hate them. In my family, my oldest daughter and I can not get enough of them, while my wife and youngest daughter can live without them.
Penne Pasta with Artichoke Sauce Recipe
- 1 pound penne rigate
- 1¼ cups tomatoes diced
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 5 artichoke hearts in water not oil or all you will taste is oil
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 small onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon capers
- salt & pepper to taste
- Start heating up a large pot of water to cook the pasta.
- Slice the onion thinly. Finely chop the parsley. Chop the capers. Drain and slice the artichoke hearts.
- The pasta takes about 12 to 15 minutes to cook. The sauce takes even less time. So salt the water and heat it up to a boil. While that is happening, prep the ingredients.
- Once the water is boiling, add the penne and start making the sauce. (see my tips on cooking pasta)
- Sauté the onion in the extra virgin olive oil.
- Add the artichoke hearts and cook until the onions are pale gold.
- Add the capers and tomatoes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes to heat up the tomatoes and blend together the flavors.
- When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to the artichoke sauce.
- Serve (plate) and top with some of the chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.