I will always have fond memories of the first dinner I cooked after the birth of my son, George. His warm body swaddled against me as I stood sideways at the stove to avoid any splatter.
No one warns you about the cravings you have while nursing, which in my case are more intense and urgent than those experienced during pregnancy, so a couple of days ago when all I could think about was a tenderly cooked, overly stuffed artichoke, I was suddenly struck by my new cooking time limitations which I am certain all mothers face on a daily basis. There would just not be enough time to properly clean, braise and stuff those delectable thistle’s, so shortcuts ensue. In the time it takes to boil and cook some pasta, I had a complete meal that satisfied my craving and left me time to marvel at the very existence of my baby boy.
Stuffed Artichoke Pasta with minted breadcrumbs
Ingredients for the pasta:
1 pound whole wheat linguini
2 bags of frozen artichoke hearts
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup of capers
4 anchovy filet’s
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
Juice and Zest from 2 lemons
1 and a half cups of organic chicken broth
4 tablespoons of butter
Ingredients for the breadcrumbs:
1 small baguette (day old is fine)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the linguini
Drizzle olive oil in a saute pan and heat to medium high, add the anchovies and stir until dissolved in the oil. Next add the garlic and saute until softened. Add the capers, lemon juice and zest parsley and chicken broth and cook for five minutes over medium heat.
When the water is boiling add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
Once you have added the pasta toss in the artichoke hearts and continue to cook over medium heat, adding salt and pepper to taste.
When draining the pasta be sure to reserve 1 – 2 cups of cooking liquid.
Toss the pasta directly into the artichoke sauce and add the 4 tablespoons of butter and any cooking liquid you may need.
For the breadcrumbs:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cut the baguette into small cubes, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
toast the cubes in the oven for about ten minutes, be careful not to burn them.
In a blender or food processor add the mint leaves, lemon zest and toasted cubes and pulse until coarsely ground.
Top the linguini with breadcrumbs and serve immediately.