Jarred artichokes, anchovies, and Parmesan create a luxurious yet light pasta dish.
Tagliatelle with Artichokes and Parmesan
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS When combined with a few staple ingredients, artichokes and pasta can defy their simplicity and come together into an elegant and ultraflavorful Italian-inspired dish. To keep our recipe streamlined, we opted to use jarred artichokes since they are available year-round, require only minimal prep, and offer plenty of bold artichoke flavor. To offset any sharp, briny flavor of the artichokes, we trimmed the leaves off the hearts and then gave them a quick soak in water. We cut the artichokes in half and then dried them so they could take on deep browning when sautéed, which brought out their natural nuttiness. Anchovies gave the sauce savory depth without adding a fishy taste; garlic and oregano combined with white wine, olive oil, Parmesan, and some pasta water made up our simple yet flavorful sauce. Fresh parsley and lemon zest kept the pasta light and bright without overwhelming the deep artichoke flavor, and a simple bread-crumb topping enhanced with extra Parmesan gave the dish savory crunch.
4 cups jarred whole baby artichoke hearts packed in water
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup dry white wine
1 pound tagliatelle
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (½ cup), plus extra for serving
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 recipe Parmesan Bread Crumbs
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 sit for 15 minutes. Drain well.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add artichoke hearts and ⅛ teaspoon salt and cook,
stirring frequently, until spotty brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in garlic, anchovies, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and bring to simmer. Off heat, stir in artichoke leaves.
3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1½ cups cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot. Add 1 cup reserved cooking water, artichoke mixture, Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and adjust consistency with remaining ½ cup reserved cooking water as needed. Serve, sprinkling individual portions with bread crumbs and extra Parmesan and drizzling with extra oil.
NOTES FROM THE TEST KITCHEN
Buying Processed Artichokes
Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean and are used almost everywhere in the region. They’re served fresh, boiled, baked, stuffed, braised, and more. From soups and stews to risotto, paella, and pasta, artichokes are prized everywhere from Spain and France to Turkey and Lebanon and are especially popular in Greece and Italy. But while fresh artichokes have their place, they’re limited by seasonality, so many Mediterranean recipes turn to prepared artichokes as a flavorful alternative. When buying processed artichokes, avoid premarinated versions; we prefer to control the seasonings ourselves. We also don’t recommend canned hearts, which tend to taste waterlogged and have large, tough leaves. We think that smaller whole jarred artichoke hearts labeled “baby” or “cocktail” are best. (If the label doesn’t say this, look for specimens no larger than 1½ inches in length.) Our favorite brand is Pastene Baby Artichokes, which are nicely tender with a sweet, earthy flavor. If you can’t find jarred baby artichoke hearts, frozen artichoke hearts will work in certain recipes.
PARMESAN BREAD CRUMBS
MAKES 1 cup FAST VEG
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Pulse bread in food processor until finely ground, 10 to 15 pulses. Heat oil in 12-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 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. Serve.
LEMON-CHILI BREAD CRUMBS FAST VEG
Substitute ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes for Parmesan. Stir 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest into crumbs before seasoning with salt and pepper.