Friday, March 25, 2011

Girelle with Artichokes

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Some women get their kicks from a new pair of jeans or the latest high fashion heels. Me? I’m as giddy as a clothes horse at Chanel when I discover a new pasta shape. In this case, my infatuation was over a curly-cued, adorable pasta I found called girelle, a word that means spinning tops.

March 2011 237 I just loved the way they looked in their uncooked state – almost like a naval on a very pregnant gal whose innie has become an outie.  I had the urge to heap them into a big bowl and leave them on my coffee table, just to admire their whimsical, sculptural form. Well… almost…but my culinary urge overcame my aesthetic urge, bringing me to my senses and to this dish of artichokes and pasta, which I urge you to try. (That’s a lot of urges, isn’t it?) 

I used frozen artichoke hearts and they’re really quite good – plus they save you a lot of time and trouble of trimming fresh ones. If you want to use fresh artichokes however, there’s a primer on how to trim them here. Get the water boiling while you’re cooking the artichokes, because the whole thing comes together in about 15 minutes.

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Before you know it, you’re sitting down to a big, warm, delicious bowl of pasta and artichokes. So dig in.

March 2011 244

Pasta with Artichokes

serves four to six, depending on appetites

printable recipe here

  • 1 pound pasta (I used girelle, but orecchiette, farfalle, or other shapes of pasta would be great too)
  • 2 9-ounce boxes frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, or one large shallot, diced finely
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • minced parsley – about 1/4 cup
  • salt, pepper
  • a healthy drizzle of lemon-flavored olive oil  (I used a brand from Olio2Go - Gianfranco Becchina’s olio verde al limone), or if not available, juice of 1/2 lemon and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • parmesan cheese

Thaw the artichoke hearts. Using a saucepan, cook the onion in the olive oil until limp, then add the minced garlic. Let the garlic soften and add the artichoke hearts. Season them with salt and pepper. Add the wine and the vegetable broth (I was making asparagus that day, so I took the discarded ends and cooked them in water first to make my own vegetable broth. ) Cover the pot and cook the artichokes in the liquid over moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Check the pot occasionally to make sure the liquid doesn’t dry out. If necessary, add more broth, but this is not a soup-y sauce. Near the end of the 10 minutes, add the thyme and parsley. Turn off the heat and add about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and mix it all together. Place the pasta in a serving dish, drizzle some lemon-flavored olive oil on top (or the juice of a lemon and regular olive oil), add another sprinkling of parmesan cheese and serve.


  1. A very spring-like pasta dish! perfect for eating outside (balcony/garden).



  2. Looks wonderful. And I do agree about the frozen artichoke hearts. Given the so-so quality of a lot of fresh artichokes, they are an excellent option!

  3. spring is for artichokes, not belly buttons!
    I am going to try this tonight!

  4. This looks fabulous! That pasta shape looks like fiddleheads!

  5. Wherever did you find that pasta? I love the fun shape. I'm like you finding new/different pasta shapes is so much fun.

  6. I agree, these look like fiddleheads - love them! Artichokes are here and they sounds wonderful with pasta.

  7. Oh! I love to try different macaroni shapes! This is a perfect recipe for a Lenten Friday. Thanks Linda!

  8. I, too, get giddy over new pasta shapes. I just wish they weren't so slow in bringing them to whole grain pastas which are woefully limited.

  9. Oh I would love a bowl of that right now!

  10. Who could resist belly-button pasta? Or would that be navel pasta? I love the ease (always) and that lemony-fresh olive oil at the end for brightness. I also prefer to eat my sculptures.

  11. That pasta would be perfect for my little granddaughter to grab, I will look for it. I'm obsessed with artichokes just as much as Stacey is with figs, so I LOVE your dish, especially with that olive oil, mmmmm, I can taste it from here, better yet, I will taste it from here! (they sent me some today!)

  12. Oh, I can make this one and love it! I have been wanting to ask you what Radiatore meant in Italian. I found it at Wal-Mart of all places. It reminds me of a Spanish Flamenco Dancer's, 'many ruffled' sleeves. I adore this Artichoke recipe, but can not find these very cute pasta shapes here in Jax, FL. I also loved all your salads (me, big salad FREAK) and love to use a combo of citrus fruits and their juices to make my own dressing too.

    I have not been able to try the Torta Mimosa yet, but I know I will love it.

  13. I have no problem buying frozen artichoke bottoms from Egypt and will continue to do so; using them for pasta is a great idea and I love the shape of the pasta, very playful.

  14. Oh I will have to send you two photo's of my baby grand puppies in their new "Forever Homes". I so miss them..... if I had not let them go this past Monday (taken off guard), I could not, would not let them go.. I miss them so much. These two babies were my reason for being absent and so busy. They are so perfect and so beautiful. Bentley and Ralphie.... just pure love.

  15. I am like a kid in a candy store when I hit our local Italian markey. I could wander the pasta aisles for hours.

  16. Favolosa questa pasta con i carciofi. Bellissima presentazione.
    Un abbraccio, buona domenica Daniela.

  17. This is lovely and I just happen to have a bag of artichokes in the freezer! I am going to make this with them. Thanks for posting.

  18. That is a great shape for pasta! I'm going to have to look for it. The artichokes sound fantastic with it too.

  19. Now that is one tasty looking artichoke pasta!

  20. That I cannot get my hands on artichokes, in and shape or form, just makes me want to cry!! My mum lives in the middle of nowhere and can still get them, Not fair. It looks delicious. I want to find artichokes NOW! Thanks for posting recipe. Will make a note of it.

  21. I love new pasta shapes too! Too bad in Paris they seem stuck on penne and rotini...

    Looks like the perfect dish for spring.

  22. Hi Linda - I'm excited about the new pasta shape too :)
    Your dish looks terrific, frozen artichokes work great, I sometimes use them in a quiche.

  23. Yummm.. this is my kind of pasta dish! Tangy artichokes, very Spring-like! and so easy to prepare! I love finding different shapes of pastas too!

  24. I could dig into a big bowl of this right now, Linda. I love that pasta shape, plus artichokes? A perfect pairing!