Thursday, October 1, 2009
Spaghetti with Ricotta and Baby Artichokes - Bakespace Challenge
There's been a lot going on in Bakespace Land and it's been nothing but fun. I wish I had more time though, because I missed out on one of the challenges but I'll get to it eventually. For this challenge we were each assigned a bakespace member (who is also participating in the challenge) and we had to cook from their bakespace kitchen. If you're not a bakespace member yet (get over there and sign up!), the kitchen is our online recipe box that is filled with recipes that we have upload to the website. I got to cook out of Moni's kitchen. You can check out her kitchen here and check out her blog here. Moni (Monica) is a fabulous baker and is very much into Halloween treats. I was certainly nervous about this challenge and doubted myself the whole time (for no reason!). To help alleviate the stress a bit I decided not to bake and to make one of her savory recipes. The recipe that appealed to me most was her Rice Stuffed Artichokes. I love artichokes and stuffed artichokes often frequent my dinner table but the combination of ingredients in this dish were slightly new to me. I never had ricotta and artichokes together before and I have never stuffed artichokes with rice. It really does look delicious though! I realized that full size artichokes aren't in season right now but I was determinted to make this recipe work for me. So instead I bought the little baby artichokes. The little guys aren't really good for stuffing but I looked at her ingredients and thought that I could make a fabulous pasta dish with them. I feel bad about having to change the recipe so much but we were told we could make the dish our own and I didn't have much choice. I'm really happy with the result and I hope you try this one! My suggestion this time is to use the fresh artichokes. The frozen or canned artichoke hearts will not be able to stand the cooking time necessary for them to actually penetrate the sauce. This sauce has a delicious flavor. You can taste the artichokes even if you don't bite into one.
Spaghetti with Ricotta and Baby Artichokes
Inspired by Monica
12 baby artichokes, cleaned and trimmed of outer leaves, quartered
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
prepared pasta sauce (I had this leftover)
About 1 cup part skim ricotta
kalamata olives, halved (I had about 1/4 cup but you know how I love them so I would use more)
Approx 2 cups chicken broth
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1. In a large skillet, saute artichokes in oil with onions olives and crushed red pepper. Lightly season with salt and black pepper.
2. Once onions are cooked add chicken broth to just barely cover the artichokes and let cook. Add more broth as it reduced and cover. Cook until artichokes are tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Add sauce and some more chicken broth to thin out the sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and let artichokes cook in the sauce for another 20-30 minutes.
4. Cook spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente. While pasta is cooking turn off heat from the sauce and add ricotta until it's a creamy consistency. When pasta is cooked toss with sauce.