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Adventures in early literacy

Artichokes and Pancetta in Spaghetti

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I know, more Italian. But I LOVE it SO much!!! That and this is a Mario Batali recipe. ‘Nuf said.

We halved his recipe since we really should never eat 6 servings of anything. Unless one of you would like to come haul us out of the house in a wheelbarrow in 10 years. Anyway, here is the recipe and I’ll walk you through it, too.

First of all, I took a major shortcut and used artichoke hearts from a jar. It might have been better with fresh artichokes, but you know, I didn’t miss it. Plus, it cuts out a big step. I still soaked them in the bowl with the lemons, but I’d probably skip this next time since it’s only real purpose was probably to tenderize the artichokes. Since mine were already tender it was an unnecessary step.

Anyway, get started by chopping all your veggies. You want to basically mince half of a medium onion and thinly slice 4 cloves of garlic. In case I haven’t already mentioned it, we LOVE garlic so I did 6 cloves. The more, the merrier if you ask me.  Also chop up your artichoke hearts (about half a small jar) into bite sized pieces. If you like pancetta go ahead and use at least 2 oz. of it diced. You can use more if you really like it. Next time I’m thinking I’ll use an entire 4 oz package. You should be able to find pre-diced pancetta in your deli section.

Now that you are all ready to go, put about 1/8 of a cup (remember, this is if you are making a smaller batch) of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in a medium to large-sized pan. Heat the oil and add your onions, garlic and pancetta. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened (or until the onions are starting to be see-through), about 10 minutes. Add the artichokes to the pan. If you used ones from a jar also add the wine at this point. 1/4 cup of dry white wine. We used a Pinot Gris, which also went very well to drink with dinner. Cover the pan and simmer over moderately low heat, about 5 minutes or until everything is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Artichoke Pancetta Sauce

While all this is cooking get your water boiling for your noodles. Cook the noodles about a minute less than you normally would. Drain the noodles, but set aside about 1/4 cup of the noodle water to add to the sauce. Add the drained noodles and the reserved water to the pan with the artichokes. Toss everything together for about a minute over medium-low. Remove from heat and add about 1/4 cup parmesan.  Sprinkle more parmesan on top. We also LOVE parmesan. 🙂

Artichoke Pancetta Spaghetti

Pinot Gris and Artichoke Pancetta Spaghetti

And now for something completely different… (hope I didn’t just break a thousand copyright laws by stealing a Monty Python title)

Spring is here! Okay, not officially, but we are doing yard work and gardening anyway. So far we have ripped up grass (remember our friend from a previous post?) and planted shrubbery and now lots of pretty perennial bulbs between the shrubs. And in the back we have improved our garden (I say “we” but really should say Kev) and are now convinced our vegetables will grow without us even having to plant them. That’s how awesome the garden is. Pictures of the garden forthcoming…

Spring Flowers

Spring also means spring break, which means my mom is coming to visit!!! YAY! And to really top things off, my bestest friends from Las Vegas will be in Portland for a conference next week. Double YAY! March might be my favorite month so far this year. Tonight Kev made the best corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes I’ve ever had (sorry Mom) and to accompany it I had some Irish Cream on the rocks. Aside from green, these are really the only Irish things I know. And no, I don’t like beer. Sorry, it’s so not yummy.

And now I’m off to finish a super challenging puzzle. Hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! Until next time, Happy Eating!

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Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

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