Globe Artichokes, with black olives, caramelised onions, sultanas, walnuts and spaghetti
Update: Have made this again for sups and this time I forgot to add the lemon juice. Purely because of that I not only went without the black olives but also the flat leaf parsley as I’ve ran out of it. I’m thrilled to write that this still tasted as good. And possibly even better for those that are less keen on the more piquant flavours. Because of that I’m putting those three ingredients as optional within its list below.
Previously: It’s not that I’m hankering after a blast of summers past. Which is just as well as globe artichokes wouldn’t really do it for me, if that was the case. Yes, I happen to like them. Even though there’s quite a lot of faffing around with preparing fresh (hence the reason for using shop-bought for this recipe). No, it’s more to do with buying a pack of Spanish Clementines last week and marvelling at their juiciness at this time of year. It always strikes me as odd that citrus fruit – all of which I adore – are just coming into their season. And the connection is?! Lemons. If you’re organised lemons are perfect when stored in a cupboard with other fruit and veg. No, not in the fridge as that can dry them out. Mine are kept in a cupboard with several other types of fruit, as unlike oranges, lemons do continue to ripen. The reason for stating the obvious is I wasn’t that diligent the first time I made this little recipe last week as I used lemons just bought. Purely because of that I’ve gone with a small handful of sultanas to help sweeten the sourness. Possibly going the route of Sicilian cuisine where dried fruit is sometimes used. Not that I’ve been there. Yet! Anyway, this won’t be to everyone’s taste as it’s very definitely sweet and sour. Which is exactly how I feel right now.
Artichokes, with black olives, caramelised onions, sultanas, walnuts and spaghetti
PREP: about 15 mins ~ COOK: about 40 mins ~ READY IN: less than 1 hour
ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: fine grater (microplane) for hard cheese, as in Parmesan or Grana Padano
- olive oil
- 150g (5.291 oz) x onions, tops sliced off, peeled and sliced crossways into circles
- 1 x dried bay leaf
- 10g (0.353 oz) or a small handful x sultanas
- ½ x lemon, juiced through a fine sieve – optional
- 60g (2.116 oz) x grilled artichoke hearts in oil and white wine vinegar (shop-bought in a jar as antipasto) + extra to personal taste
- 20 – 40g (0.705 – 1.411 oz) x walnut pieces, dry roasted and roughly broken/chopped
- 4 x pitted black olives, chopped – optional
- pasta of choice
- flat leaf parsley, finely chopped or snipped – optional
- hard cheese of choice, Parmesan or Grana padano
- seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Put a heavy-based saucepan or pan on electric heat No 3 out of 6. When hot pour in enough oil to cover its base. Add the onions and the bay leaf, plonk on a lid and set the timer for 15 minutes. I can safely leave mine without stirring through. If in doubt do keep an eye on them. After 15 remove the lid, stir through and reduce heat to No 2. This is when I usually stay in the kitchen and stir through occasionally as I’m preparing other stuff. Let the onions continue to cook, without poking at them too much, for at least another 15 minutes, reducing heat to No 1 to prevent any scorching. By that stage the onions should be nicely golden, if not caramelised. I usually add the sultanas anytime after the first 15 minutes.
- Pour over the lemon juice, add the already chopped artichokes and up the heat to No 3 again to help heat everything through. In the meantime cook the pasta of choice.
- Add the walnut pieces to a small pan and put on lowest heat setting. Dry roast for about 10 or so minutes, or until they become fragrant. Take off heat and break or chop them even smaller, when cool enough to do so.
- Serve the pasta with the sauce, walnuts, black olives, parsley and lots of freshly grated or shaved Parmesan.
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