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.
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.
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.