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Okey Dokey Artichokey! Pasta with Artichoke Butter

July 19, 2009

I’ve loved artichokes for longer than I can remember.  Something that you can take a half hour to eat, one delicious leaf at a time?  Sign me up!  And at the end of things, you have the hidden prize of the heart waiting for you.

Artichokes are my favorite… well, they aren’t a vegetable… They are my favorite flower.  My second favorite flower is nasturtium.  Then I am out of flowers that I like to eat.

I have also had a deep and abiding love of butter since childhood.  One of my earliest memories is of eating an entire stick of butter that I found on the counter in my Grandma’s kitchen.  I remember the logic.  This is good on bread.  This is good on a potato.  Ergo, it is good.  I should eat it.

That was a bad idea, and what my mother reports is how sick I got, and being unsure of why.  I never did that again.

I also like pasta.  I love its texture, and its versatility.  You can put ANYTHING in pasta.  It’s quick, and it’s easy, and it is almost impossible to screw up.

Tonight, I made up a recipe, combining my three great loves, not counting my favorite kitchen tool.

In a food processor, combine six cloves of garlic with two cans of artichoke hearts in water.  (OH!  Drain the artichokes first!)  Add 4 Tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup each of shredded fontina, asiago, parmesean and provolone cheese.  OR, use one cup of Trader Joe’s four cheese blend.  Add two large white button mushrooms, and 4 sun-dried tomatoes.  Blend the living hell out of the whole mess.  The butter may be lumpy and problematic, but don’t worry about it.  It will melt when it hits the hot pasta.

Cook your favorite short, squat pasta according to the package directions.  (I used Trader Joe’s pesto tortellini, but I think this recipe would be good with a penne/mosticiolli-ish noodle, or a farfalle as well.)

Ring leaves of a left over artichoke that your fourteen year old son didn’t eat around the plate, heap your pasta in the middle, and garnish with cherry tomatoes and shredded cheese.  Serve with a good Italian bread, and salad.

Okey Dokey, Artichokey!

Okey Dokey, Artichokey!

Eat, and live happily ever after.  For the record, I used 4 servings of pasta for this.  Iwould maybe make 150-200% of the pasta, and add a little bit of milk, cream or half and half to the sauce to thin it out a bit.

On the other hand, both of my mens went back for seconds, and they both told me I needed to WRITE THIS RECIPE DOWN!!!!!

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