Artichoke Tortelloni with Artichoke & Lemon Butter

Dinner:  April 19, 2007

It has been a long and difficult week for many of us, I think. This was the meal I had originally lined up for last Monday night, but as it turned out we didn’t end up eating in that night. Still, the idea was in my head, the ingredients were in the fridge, and I still wanted to try this recipe out.

I stayed home from work yesterday and had some time to decompress, relax with the cats and get into a better headspace, and I finally felt ready to cook something again by the time the evening rolled around. I wasn’t sure how this would turn out – I love artichokes but I’m still getting the hang of working with them. I’m happy to say this was one experiment that ended well. The slices of artichoke were velvety but still had a bit of bite, the pasta was tender and delicious, and the fresh ricotta we got from Anne was the perfect finishing touch.

Artichoke Tortellini with Artichoke & Lemon Butter

1 lb. artichoke tortelloni (ours was from Bertagni, which is available via FreshDirect and at Garden of Eden)
4 lemons
5 baby artichokes, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Fresh ricotta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt.

Cut two of the lemons in half and squeeze their juices into a bowl of water; toss the lemon halves in as well. While the water comes to a boil, trim and slice the baby artichokes and place them into the lemon water.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant. Using a slotted spoon or spider, remove the sliced artichokes from the water and add to the sauté pan. Add the juice of the remaining two lemons, the remaining two tablespoons of butter, and season with salt.

Add the tortelloni to the boiling water and cook for just a few minutes, until the pasta floats to the top of the pot. Remove the tortelloni using a slotted spoon or spider and add it to the sauce along with a little bit of the starchy pasta water. Add half of the parsley, toss gently, allow to cook for a few more minutes until the sauce is reduced and just coats the pasta. Spoon into shallow bowls and top with a spoonful of ricotta and additional chopped parsley.

Paumanok Sauvignon Blanc

Wine Pairing: Artichokes are notoriously difficult to pair wines with, and we are certainly no experts, but I figured we’d give it a shot anyway. We drank a bottle of 2005 Paumanok Sauvignon Blanc with this, a light wine with a lot of zing – the bright citrus notes in the bottle worked really well with the lemony sauce.

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4 thoughts on “Artichoke Tortelloni with Artichoke & Lemon Butter

  1. This sounds fabulous! Other than boiling whole artichokes and admittedly using the leaves as a vehicle for melted butter, I have even less experience with them than you. How long to you cook the sliced baby artichokes?

    I’ve heard about the difficulty of pairing wine and artichokes too, as well as asparagus. But I generally just decide I want a glass of wine and say what the heck. Or words to that effect.

  2. Jennifer Hess says:

    Terry – I sliced the baby artichokes up pretty thin, so they really only took a few minutes to cook to where I wanted them (tender but still with a little bite).

    I guess the deal with wine and artichokes is that the artichokes make wine taste sweeter? So I figured by going with a sort of crisp wine with some good acidity we could work around that, and I was pretty pleased with how this one worked. 🙂

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