Our next guest for Me Me Me Month is CK from Made by Bedtime Tales. You have to check out the header on their blog (CK blogs with her sister Becka) – it’s the most fanciful header I’ve ever seen (and I don’t know where fanciful came from, it’s just what popped in my head!). They make adorable toys, elegant jewellery, post recipes and much more. Let’s see what CK is going to share today:
Artichoke Pasta Bowl: A meal for ME!
Most of the meals I cook for the family consist of variations of macaroni for the kids, soup for my husband or tried-and-true simple deals on days we have company. But recently I cooked something that was just for ME and I loved it! I saw something similar to this at a restaurant but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere online. I decided to experiment in the kitchen and created something new with my own twist.
The artichoke is a process to prepare but the dish is a little fancy, a little romantic and a little healthy, too. It is vegetable and pasta based and totally worth the effort!
First you need to steam some fresh artichokes. Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with water and set it on the heat.
You want to cut off the tips of your artichokes so that they can rest upside down in the bottom of your pot.
Let the artichokes steam for about 45 minutes.
or until a knife slips in and out of the artichoke stem like cutting into a soft potato.
After the artichokes are done, let them rest and cool while you make the rest of the meal. Boil some pasta. Make sure you break the pasta up in small pieces so that the pasta is easy to scoop into your bowl.
As the pasta cooks, you can start chopping up vegetables and herbs for the sauce.
I put tomatoes, green onions, garlic, rosemary, parsley, a tiny bit of dill and arugula in my sauce. Fresh thyme would be good, too.
The sauce began as an easy white sauce.
I melted some butter and stirred in the garlic, green onions and arugula.
Once the butter was melted, I added an equal amount of flour and mixed it all together.
The butter and flour turned into a nice, thick paste.
Next I added some cream for flavor
and some milk to thin it out.
There was also some Parmesan cheese I threw in. Fresh Parmesan would have been better but I used what was in the fridge.
Once the sauce was at the consistency I liked, I threw in the tomatoes, parsley, other flavoring, like lemon juice.
I cooked the sauce for a few more minutes, adding milk to keep it the consistency I liked.
Now to prepare your artichoke bowl:
I never ate a fresh artichoke before I married my husband. So I will describe how to prepare the artichoke in detail. Make sure you take the pasta out when it is done and let the sauce sit on low while you prepare the artichoke. First you have to cut off the stem so that the artichoke sits flat on a plate.
Tenderly open the artichoke leaves so that the artichoke sits more like a bowl.
First you have to take out the inner, thick and pokey leaves. They will come out easily since the artichoke is steamed.
Inside, you will find a group of sharp, pointy purple leaves.
Take those out.
Beneath that you will see the artichoke hair. Trust me. You don’t want to eat that!
Spoon it out, making sure you get every last hair out.
You don’t want that stuff sticking to the back of your throat.
FINALLY! You get to the artichoke HEART. This is the good stuff, this is the yummy stuff!
Spoon it out and take a bite just to make sure you got the right stuff.
I think it tastes similar to palm hearts. It’s so yummy.
Scoop out more artichoke heart, but be careful that you don’t break through the bottom of your artichoke “bowl”. Now you are going to mix a small portion of sauce, pasta and your artichoke heart all together.
Mix it together and then spoon it all back into the empty artichoke leaves.
I know it’s a long process, but it is a super fun dish!
Let’s see that again:
Cut off the stem of your artichoke:
Take out the thick, spiky leaves from the center of your artichoke.
Then scrape out the artichoke hair.
Get to the heart of your vegetable and scoop out the meat for your pasta dish.
Stir up the pasta, sauce and artichoke heart.
Return the artichoke heart back into your bowl with the pasta and sauce.
Now, serve your dish and feast!!!
This dinner is fancy and so fun to eat. You get to eat your pasta and your bowl.
If you don’t know how to eat an artichoke, you just pull off one leaf at a time and scrape off the meat at the bottom of each leaf with your teeth.
Isn’t this dish romantic???(Never-mind that my husband is eating his dinner with a kiddy fork.)
Mmmm! I ate it alllll gone!
And for a yummy side dish, you can check out my recipe for Beets Divine here.
Hope you enjoyed the recipe and will maybe get a chance to make it for YOU some night.
Here is a full list of ingredients:
1/2 box of whole wheat angel pasta
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk (more or less for consistency)
1 cup of Parmesan or other cheese you like
Salt and pepper to taste
Thanks again CK! I’ve never cooked artichokes before, so I’m going to go buy some. Now go check out the cuteness at Made by Bedtime Tales!