Orecchiette with Salt Cod and Artichokes


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orecchiette con baccala e carciofi

I’m kind of obsessed with this month’s issue of La Cucina Italiana. There are always lots of recipes I’m excited to try but this month there was even more than usual.

One of the things I like about this recipe is that it’s really quick and easy – once you get over your fear of cleaning fresh artichokes. It’s also “fancy” enough that you could serve it at a dinner party.

Just don’t try to get over your artichoke cleaning fear on the the day you invite people over. Please master that art before hand. Spitting up unchewable fibrous leaves into napkins isn’t ever pretty nor fun (trust me I’ve been there). But some how it’s a bit worse to subject your guests to that.

Anyways, because I use almost all recipes as inspiration (meaning I have a hard time following directions), the recipe below is an adaptation of theirs. Mine calls for rinsed salt cod because I had it on had for another recipe. The original recipe called for fresh cod, that would obviously work too. If not, try another white fish.

Whatever you do, Enjoy! And Feed Your Love!

Orecchiette with Salt Cod and Artichokes

250g (1/2 lb) fresh orecchiette (or another short fresh pasta)
120g (1/4 lb) salt cod well rinsed and skin removed
2 artichokes*
1/2 shallot
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry white (or juice of one lemon)**
salt and pepper to taste

Serves: 2 – Total cook time: 30 minutes or less

orecchiette pasta with salt cod and artichokes

1. Fill a medium bowl with 1 cup of water and white wine. Clean artichokes removing the outer leaves and choke. Cut into thin slices and place into bowl with water/wine mixture.

2. Place one large pot of water to boil. Once the pot reaches a full boil add rock salt and orecchiette. Cook according to package directions (usually about 5-7 minutes). Set aside about 1/4 cup of pasta water. Drain cooked pasta.

3. While water is coming to a boil cut shallot into thin slices. Add slices to a large pan with olive oil. Cook on medium heat until shallot begins to soften (about 5 minutes since I start with a cold pan). Stir in drained artichokes. Add salt and pepper cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add about 1/4 cup of water to pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Cut cod into 1 cm (1/2 inch cubes). Add diced cod to pan, cook for about a minute.

4. Add cooked pasta and some of the reserved pasta water to the pan with artichokes. Let flavors combine by cooking for about 1-2 minutes. Serve with drizzle of olive oil if desired.

*In Italy two types of artichokes are commonly available. The elongated artichoke (carciofo spinoso) and the globe artichoke (Carciofo Romanesco). Generally each variety is used in certain specific recipes. This recipe was made using the elongated version. If you are using globe artichokes in the above recipe it would probably be best to use just the artichoke heart.

** I like to use white wine instead of lemons to add acidity to prevent artichokes from oxidizing. Use lemons instead if you prefer.

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