‘Choked up

This time of the year, it’s difficult not to be an impulse buyer when visiting the Greenmarket. I loaded up on artichokes at Union Square over the weekend – I had no idea how I was going to use them, but it’s such a treat to get them grown locally.


The heat and humidity were pretty oppressive yesterday, so I wanted to fix something fast. Doing a quick mental inventory of the fridge and cupboards, I decided to combine the artichokes with pancetta and bucatini pasta.

Dinner:  September 9, 2007

My artichokes were small, so trimming them down was a breeze. While the halved hearts sat in acidulated water, I got my pasta water going and chopped up half a pound of thickly sliced pancetta. I sautéed the pancetta in a bit of olive oil until crisp, then added the artichokes, salt, a pinch of chile flakes and a splash of white vermouth. I let this continue cooking until the artichokes were tender, then finished the bucatini in the sauce, adding a couple of ladles of the pasta water. I stirred a handful of grated Pecorino Romano in off the heat, and finished the pasta with plenty of black pepper and a bit more cheese.

our wine with dinner

Wine Pairing: I’m always a little wary of trying to pair wine with artichoke dishes, and my original thought was to buy a Prosecco to go with our meal. We ended up going with this Dolcetto d’Alba recommended to us by Dan at Uva Wines (who moved into their big, bright new space just last week), and once again, he picked us a winner. It was bright and juicy and went beautifully with our pasta.

8 thoughts on “‘Choked up

  1. Oooh the resulting pasta dish looks fantastic. I’ve never seen bucatini pasta but I like that shape and I’m going to look out for it now! Great idea to pair the artichokes with a pancetta, I’m sure that had a good flavor.

  2. Now I know what I’m doing with the baby ‘chokes I’ve been seeing at the market! I hate the prep, but when they have those long stems, it’s almost like you’re getting extra heart in each one. 🙂

  3. Jennifer Hess says:

    Hillary, I can’t think of much out there that isn’t improved by a little porky goodness! 😉

    Anita, very true! And these went so much more quickly without having to fight with that darn furry choke inside. Smaller is definitely better where artichokes are concerned!

  4. we should all be keeping our eyes on the Times… When I was at the market on Friday buying obscenely large carrots and cukes from the “artichoke guy” he was all afluster because Alice Waters had been there an hour or so earlier buying his mini-‘chokes for a piece she’s writing for the NYTimes.
    I know what I made with those very same ‘chokes, so I can’t wait to see if it’s anything like what the Queen of Produce makes with them!

  5. The artichoke-pancetta bucatini has forced me to delurk. What an outstanding-looking dish. Since artichokes don’t grow locally here in the Midwest, they’ve been off my radar, sadly. But, as soon as I can procure some, I’m going to try this preparation. Besides, I’ve been looking for the perfect dish to accompany a bottle of Gru-Vee I’ve squirreled away.

    Kudos to Last Night’s Dinner!

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