Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lou's Most Excellent Fried Artichoke Fried Pasta

I made this as a side dish for our left over Four Figgy Chicky last night. Turned out very tasty and easy to put together. Plus, how can you go wrong with fried artichoke hearts?

The artichokes themselves are great on their own - they'd make a great appetizer...which we ourselves had four of prior to dinner.

Half a box of spaghetti
1 12 ounce can of artichoke hearts in water
1 large tomato
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc used here)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Parmesan cheese

Cook the spaghetti right to al dente. Once there, immediately drain and transfer to a bowl full of ice water. Set aside.

Peel the tomato using a veggie peeler or a ton of patience using a paring knife. You could also "shock" the tomato in boiling water for 15 seconds then plunging into an ice bath too. Either way, get the skin off the tomato. Remove the seeds and cut the flesh into ½ inch chunks. Set aside.

In a large skillet heat about 2 - 3 TBS of olive oil over medium. Drain and rinse the artichokes. Cut each 'choke in half along the length of the 'choke. Sprinkle the open half with salt and pepper and then dredge each half in the flour. [That's right - no additional egg dredge here as I'm keeping the mess down and the process simple.]

Once the oil is hot (water drops should spatter when added) place the artichokes, cut side down, into the pan. Let fry for about 3 - 4 minutes; turn one over to check for doneness, which is when the 'choke has a nice light brown crust on it. Flip the chokes and repeat. Remove the chokes onto a paper towel and immediately sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.

Add the garlic to the hot oil; it will begin to turn brown. RIGHT when this starts to happen add the tomato (and any residual juices on the cutting board) and toss to mix. Cook an additional minute to heat the tomato through and then add ½ cup of the wine.

Let the wine simmer off to half then add the remaining wine. Simmer down to half again and then increase the heat to medium high.

Drain the cold pasta and remove as much water as possible - add the pasta to the pan. Careful here as it will spit a bit. Toss to mix as you gently/lightly/oh-do-delicately fry the pasta, about three minutes.

Plate the pasta and place the 'chokes on top of the pasta nest; add additional Parmesan if desired (and when is it not?).