Host Recipe: Chiara and Mattia’s Artichoke & Salmoriglio Pasta

A Sicilian street food staple with a pasta twist.

This recipe is inspired by a popular street food dish found in Sicily – grilled artichokes with salmoriglio dressing (a tangy lemon, garlic, and oregano sauce). Hosts Mattia and Chiara from Catania wanted to use those same flavors in a pasta dish so they came up with the 6-step recipe they’re sharing here.

Spaghetti with artichoke and pesto

We love artichokes in all their shapes and forms, and we believe the secret for a good pasta dish is the simplicity and the respect of the ingredients involved in the recipe. We love cooking the artichokes just slightly – keeping the crunchiness and the flavor at its highest.

Hosts Chiara and Mattia

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 6 oz. Spaghetti
  • 3 Artichokes
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 oz. Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Lemon
  • 3 oz. Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and chili flakes to taste
  • Dry oregano to taste
  • 2 Ice cubes

Instructions

1. Prepare a bowl with cold water and the juice of a half lemon. Clean the artichokes, keeping the hearts and the soft part of the stems and put them inside the bowl with the lemon water. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to a boil together with some artichokes leaves to make an artichokes broth. (You will use this pot to cook the pasta)

2. Put the parsley leaves and stems, the juice and the zest of half lemon, half piece of garlic, 1.5 oz. extra virgin olive oil, 2 cubes of ice, chili flakes and salt all together in a round container and blend them until you get a smooth pesto.

3. Heat the rest of the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic gloves (keep the skin) in a pan over low heat. Add the thin-sliced cut artichokes, increase the heat and stir them until they are nice and golden.

4. Once the artichokes are golden and crunchy, season to taste with chili, salt, chopped parsley, and some lemon juice. Put them aside and add boiling water from the large pot in the pan.

5. Remove the artichoke leaves from the large pot, let the water reach a boil then add salt. Cook the spaghetti following package instructions, but take the pasta out 3 minutes before the given time so you can finish cooking in the pan. Add some of the cooking water until you have your spaghetti al dente and creamy.

6. Place your salmoriglio pesto on a plate with your spaghetti and finish with the artichokes on top.

Learn more about hosts Chiara and Mattia and their experiences in Catania, Italy here.

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