RECIPE: Giampiero’s Trofie con Cariofi (Trofie Pasta with Artichokes)

 

Italian Supper Club I:  Here’s the very delicious Artichoke and Trofie Pasta Recipe; courtesy of my friend’s James’ Italian friend Giampiero ; Grazie and Mangiamo!

Ingredients: 2 Lemons 4 to 5 Artichokes (firm, tight, green, preferably Romanesco type)2 to 3 cloves of garlic, peeled 1 to 2 tsp Peperoncino (red chili pepper) flakes,  2 to 3 Anchovies (preserved in oil),  1-2 cups Warm Chicken soup stock (homemade or store-bought*),  1 cup dry white wine, 500 gr Trofie dry pasta, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheese, 3 to 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, sea salt (for pasta cooking and seasoning).

*Vegetarian stock can replace chicken stock to make this dish vegetarian; chicken or vegetarian stock cubes can be used also.  Anchovies are used to “season” the dish so adjust the salt accordingly (OO).

TIPS: This recipe serves 5 (100g pasta each as an appetizer); the usual size 500 g package of pasta is good for 5 to 6 people, depends on what is being used to go with it.

We used the same recipe, omit the pasta and turn the artichokes into antipasti; we just quartered the artichokes and serve it room temperature.   The lemon water prevents oxidation; it also removed the somewhat “muddy” flavor of artichokes and add brightness to the dish. Trofie pasta is selected as the shape goes with the sliced artichokes.

Artichokes as Antipasti!

Method:

  1. Zest the two lemons and reserve the zest in a small bowl for later use.
  2. Prepare a large bowl with cold water. Cut the two zested lemons in half and carefully squeeze the juice into the water being careful not to include the seeds. Drop in the seedless peels in as well.  The lemon water is to prevent the artichokes to oxidize.

3. Using a paring knife, carefully clean and trim the artichokes, pulling away the dark and hard outer leaves. Cut off the end of the stem, slice away the darker green outer layer of the stem. Carefully pare away any remaining dark green layer between the peeled stem and the edge of the base. Cut off about 1/3 to a half of the pointy leaf ends.  Be careful when paring and not to cut yourself.

4. Slice the trimmed artichoke in half lengthwise and then into quarters and carefully remove the hairy choke, pulling out any pointy interior leaves in the process. Drop the trimmed artichoke (carciofi in Italian)  in the cold lemon water and repeat the process until completed.  When all of the  have been properly trimmed and quartered, take each quarter and slice thinly lengthwise, returning the sliced artichokes into the acidulated water immediately.

5. Put a large pot of salted water (sea salt) on to boil.

6. Warm the chicken / vegetarian stock in the sauce pan; keep it in low simmer (this step will be omitted if you are using chicken /vegetarian stock cube and those can be added directly into the pan for flavoring).

7. Using low heat, add 2 (to 3 TBS) olive oil to a large saute pan or wok (in Italy they have a large rounded pan with a handle called a Salta pasta);  gently saute the garlic and peperoncino (red pepper flakes).

8. Add the drained artichoke slices and raise the heat to medium, Stir constantly (without breaking the artichokes).  After 2 to 3 minutes, add the anchovies to the side of the pan, carefully mashing them so that they completely dissolve in the oil.

9. Add the warm soup stock a little at a time (when cooking always add warm stock to avoid temperature fluctuations)  and stir in the white wine.  The stock will add another level of flavor to the artichokes; let hte mixture simmer in low heat.  The artichokes will absorb the liquid, you don’t want the sauce to be “watery”.

10. While sauce is simmering, throw the trofie pasta in to the boiling water and cook for at least one to two minutes less than indicated on the instructions.  Do not Toss the pasta water!

Trofie pasta purchased at La Grotta Del Frommaggio on Commercial Drive

11. Reduce the heat a bit lower (medium low) for the artichokes,  cover and cook until the artichokes are almost tender. They should be al dente by the time the pasta is ready. Taste the artichokes and see if they need any salt, the anchovies should be enough for flavoring, otherwise add a little salt if needed.

12. Using a strainer or a spider to lift the al dente pasta out of the cooking water and toss into the pan with the artichokes.  Add a ladle or two of the pasta cooking water (acqua di cottura), stir and fold gently to ensure the water mostly evaporates.  The cooking water is what makes the sauce creamy!

13. Add a couple of handfuls of grated parmesan and pecorino cheese to the artichoke /pasta mix. Stir gently to integrate the cheese with pasta, then serve hot in individual bowls. Top each with some of the lemon zest, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and more of the grated cheese if desired.  Mangiamo!

September 2016: Bella September

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Fall is always my favourite season; I am always excited and grateful to welcome the harvest season and get busy in my kitchen!

This September is all about Italian food at our household:

Italian Home cooking with my friends James (househistorian) and Peter (Pastaboy), sharing the joys and love for Italian cuisine:  Whenever my friend James return to Vancouver,  we always have a standing appointment to cook together for our good friends.

Here is the composite photo showing our dinner. Top row left; deep-fried cauliflower, fresh, handmade orecchiette pasta, bruschetta  with Sabina DOP extra virgin olive oil from Casperia.

Second row left to right: Insalata caprese with local heirloom tomatoes and bufala mozzarella. Orecchiette (handmade small ear pasta) with fava beans, peas, Gorgonzola (sweet) and half and half cream pureed and topped with crispy guanciale (smoked pork cheek), baked sockeye salmon (local!) with lemon and capers.

Bottom row Left to Right:  An amazing bottle of Spanish wine, Spaghetti all’Amatriciana (remembering the earthquake in Amatrice),  getting ready to make pasta dough with flour and water!

My trusting go to places for my supplies in Vancouver: Cioffis 4142 East Hastings, Bianca Maria 2469 East Hastings, Gourmet Warehouse 1340 East Hastings)

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Caprese Insalata: Buffala di mozzarella (a must), fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, sea salt and nice olive oil. We toasted some baguette (rustic Italian better), rubbed with garlic and drizzle with olive oil..Bruschetta!
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The most thoughtful gift from my pal James: Sabina DOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Casperia from olives grown and harvested from trees James can see from his home in Italy. Thank you again James!

We love pies: Gabi and Jules Handmade pies and baked goods in Port Moody

The newest artisan baked shop and cafe opened weeks ago in Port Moody; we were crazy and drove Port Moody one rainy Saturday morning, and the verdict?  It was well worth the long drive from Vancouver! We had the apple blueberry pie: flaky buttery crust with generous fillings, the sweetness was perfect!  I had the scrumptious cheese scone and my crazy husband had the peach cobbler muffin,

Their website is still under construction, they have great pictures on Instagram (@gabiandjules).

http://www.gabiandjules.com

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Delectable Apple and blueberry pie from Gabi and Jules: We took it home and enjoyed with our friends.

Tasting and Book Signing event at Gourmet Warehouse: Lidia Bastianich

The great Italian born American chef, Ms. Lidia Bastianich visited Vancouver this month… I was absolutely thrilled to meet her in person, she is absolutely lovely…completely starstruck..

I got her autographed cookbook (included in ticket purchase), a picture taken and spoke with her for a few minutes about Italian cooking.  Tremendous thank you to staff and event crew at Gourmet Warehouse for hosting the wonderful event.

I will be very occupied this winter and I look forward to sharing all new cooking tips, techniques and recipes with everyone.
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http://www.gourmetwarehouse.ca

A one stop gourmet store located on East Hastings, filled with great selection of cookware, bakeware, ingredients and sauces from around the world.

Check their calendar for cooking classes and special events

And the Italian theme continues: Ask for Luigi revisited…first time for dinner

Finally made it to Ask for Luigi for dinner!  It was an impromptu decision, we got there early on a Wednesday night (5:45 pm) and got it right away.  It was meant to be (OO)

Ask for Luigi: 2015 Best Restaurant in Vancouver, located at 305 Alexander Street (Railtown), no reservations so get there early!

http://www.askforluigi.com

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Cauliflower polpettes: with romesco sauce and hazelnuts: a very tasty vegetarian “meatball”…
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Radiatore – chilli, anchovy and broccoli….I love their pastas!

Easy Pasta Suppers: 

We all love having pastas for dinner, the sauces are usually easy to make, the ingredients are simple and easy to purchase, my focus is always on using fresh in season and local ingredients.

Broccoli pine nut pesto with gluten-free fusilli (Gogo Quinoa), Spaghetti and Zoodles (Zucchini noodles) all’amatriciana (San Marzano Canned tomatoes, guanciale (smoked pork cheek), garlic and Pecorino romano).  I substituted the half the spaghetti with zoodles (love my spiralizer).

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Easy Sunday supper: Broccoli, pine nuts, dried chilli pepper pesto with gluten-free (GoGo Quinoa) fusilli and parmesan reggiano
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Spaghetti and Zoodles (courgetti/zucchini noodles) all’amatriciana – It’s not entirely vegetarian as the sauce is made of guanciale (smoked Italian pork cheek) and San Marzano tomatoes (variety of plum tomatoes (sweeter, stronger taste and less acidic – available Canned in Italian food stores Cioffis (East Hastings). I’ve used heirloom tomatoes (in season now) and it was so delicious.
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Good reads: The Italian Pasta cookbook is actually an old publication, the Chinese book is translated from a Japanese cookbook written by a popular and famous chef in Tokyo. I’ve been reading a lot more in Chinese lately, trying to learn the terms and cross reference.

Some upcoming Events in Vancouver:

September 29th – Sake Festival (consumer tasting in the evening), check website for information.

http://www.sakebc.ca

Farmers Market schedule and location will change at the end of October, winter market begins!

http://www.eatlocal.org

Eat Vancouver (October 4 to 7) – check out their website for events, there’s no market place this year but plenty of special dinners

http://www.eat-vancouver.com

Remember I took some sushi making classes earlier this year?  Taka-san is back and he will be teaching on October 15th Saturday, please call 778-788-3574 for reservations.