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Weekend Recipe: Tagliatelle with Artichokes and Olive Oil

Photo courtesy of Cook's Illustrated
Cook's Illustrated

This is one of those pantry staples that never gets boring and is just as easy to whip up on the fly. To make this Cook's Illustrated recipe even more fuss-free, use panko. And to eliminate food waste, process leftover bread once it starts going stale and keep the bread crumbs in the freezer ready for recipes like this one. Enjoy!

Jarred artichoke hearts and tagliatelle make a quick and elegant dinner. We slice the leaves from jarred artichoke hearts and then give them a quick soak to temper the harsh flavors they pick up from the brine. We cut the hearts in half and then dry them well so that they can be easily browned to bring out their natural nuttiness. Anchovies give the sauce savory depth, and cream ties together the aromatics, wine and artichoke flavor. A simple Parmesan bread-crumb topping gives the dish some savory crunch.

Tagliatelle with Artichokes and Olive Oil
Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

3 cups jarred whole artichoke hearts packed in water, preferably baby or cocktail size
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
Salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry and minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
⅓ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons heavy cream
12 ounces tagliatelle
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

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INSTRUCTIONS

We prefer jarred artichoke hearts labeled “baby” or “cocktail” that are 1 1/2 inches or shorter in length. Larger artichoke hearts tend to have fibrous leaves. If you are using larger hearts, trim the top 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the leaves. Do not use marinated or oil-packed artichoke hearts. You’ll need three 9.9-ounce jars of artichokes for this recipe. The anchovies add depth without imparting a fishy taste; don’t omit them. Tagliatelle is a long, flat, dry egg pasta that is about 1/4 inch wide. Pappardelle can be substituted for the tagliatelle.

1. Cut leaves from artichoke hearts. Cut hearts in half and dry with paper towels. Place leaves in bowl and cover with water. Let leaves stand for 15 minutes. Drain well.

2. Pulse bread in food processor until finely ground, 10 to 15 pulses. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, until crumbs begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until crumbs are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer crumbs to bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out skillet.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add artichoke hearts and 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until hearts are spotty brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic, anchovies, oregano and pepper flakes; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and cream and bring to simmer. Remove skillet from heat and stir in artichoke leaves. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot. Stir in artichoke sauce, remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, 2/3 cup reserved cooking water, remaining 1/4 cup oil, parsley and lemon zest. Adjust consistency with remaining reserved cooking water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing bread-crumb mixture and extra Parmesan separately.

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