Fettuccine With Artichokes and Pancetta
A Year-Round Dish Made With Frozen Artichokes
- Servings: 2 as a main course, 4 as a starter.
Fresh artichokes are one of nature's greatest gifts but their taste can be elusive if you're discouraged by all the work it takes to trim, prep and cook raw ones. For dishes like this simple pasta, substituting frozen artichoke hearts is a small compromise, making the dish do-able for a weeknight dinner. It also means you can eat it year-round, not just in the warm months when fresh artichokes are in season.
Use one box of frozen artichokes for every half-pound of pasta.
For the pancetta, which is unsmoked Italian bacon, try to buy a single thick piece or else ask your deli or charcuterie to cut your slices 1/2-inch thick, making it very easy to then cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Having the pancetta in little chunks instead of slices will add to the texture of the dish.
- 1 9-oz. box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/8 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes for about 1/3 cup in total
- 1 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 pound dry egg fettuccine
- Completely defrost the frozen artichoke hearts. You can do this by leaving the package in the refrigerator overnight or in your sink for several hours in advance of cooking. Drain in a sieve or colander and using a paper towel, squeeze any excess moisture out of the pieces.
- In a large fry pan or skillet add the olive oil and butter and place over medium high heat until the butter is melted.
- Add the diced pancetta and cook over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the lean portion of the pancetta begins to cook but not brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add the minced shallot and red pepper flakes and continue to cook over medium heat until the shallot softens and becomes translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the artichoke pieces and lemon zest to the pancetta and shallot mixture and gently stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes until the artichokes are cooked through and begin to slight brown on the edges. Don't stir the mixture too much or else the artichokes will fall apart.
- Transfer the mixture to a warm serving bowl.
- In a large pot of generously salted boiling water, cook the egg fettuccine until it is al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta, adding it to the serving bowl with the artichoke mixture. Gently toss to combine, adding some of the pasta water if needed to help bring the ingredients together.
- Sprinkle with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss again.
- Serve immediately.