30 January 2011
So when I came across the restaurant's cookbook last December, I thought it would make a great Christmas present for the family. I presented it to my mom, who since has enthusiastically pored over the gorgeous photos and inspiring recipes. However, that pretty much sums up the extent of her use of this book. So, I've decided to take things into my own hands and have some fun working through the recipes myself! And in the process, I guess my parents are getting their Christmas Present: Part 2!
One of the first dishes that captured my eye was the spaghetti con carciofi and scampi (spaghetti with artichokes and shrimp, currently available on their lunch menu). The picture of thick strands of spaghetti coated in a creamy artichoke sauce got me drooling, and my mind instantly conjured up some sort of artichoke-carbonara fusion dish.
So here is my personal take on the recipe. I take help from canned artichoke hearts, but thawed frozen artichoke hearts would be another great alternative. Of course, if you'd like to put in a little more work, fresh, steamed artichoke hearts (which I had as an appetizer) are absolutely lovely as well. If you're looking for a richer sauce, add the egg--the hot pasta will cook the egg without scrambling it. If you prefer a fresher, lighter taste, just skip the egg. Either way, it is delicious! Buon appetito tutti!
Spaghetti ai Carciofi con Scampi
Adapted from Trattoria Grappolo: Simple Recipes for Traditional Italian Cuisine
Makes 4 servings
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts in water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbs. fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, plus more for garnish
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese
1 egg (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb. thick spaghetti
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup dry white wine
Shavings of Parmigiano cheese, for garnish
Drain artichokes and reserve the liquid. Add artichokes, garlic, parsley, grated Parmigiano, and egg (if using) to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth, adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved artichoke water to create a smooth sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions until al dente.
While spaghetti is cooking, heat up a large skillet over medium heat. When pan is hot, coat with olive oil and add the shrimp. Let shrimp cook until pink on both sides, turning once during cooking. Deglaze pan with wine and let wine reduce by half. Remove pan from heat (important step, if you're using egg in the sauce--you don't want to end up with scrambled egg!), then add the cooked spaghetti and pour artichoke sauce over. Stir to coat each strand. If sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water to loosen.
Mound spaghetti and scampi into bowls and sprinkle each serving with chopped fresh parsley and curls of shaved Parmigiano cheese.
Posted by erica at 4:32 PM