Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lemon and Artichoke Pasta and North Shore Weekend Picks

The weekend cannot come quick enough. My whole week disrupted by snow. The snowbanks in my driver are taller than my very tall husband. I'm sick of driving along local highways at a snail's pace. I know, it's winter, it's New England... deal with it. Honestly, this year it may just break me. I'm over it.

I wanted something to bring a smile back to my face. A refreshing dish that cries for summer. I also haven't been home in 24 hours so I was stuck with whatever the pantry had to offer. Great, I love to be creative. We had a can of artichoke hearts, a lemon, plenty of pasta, and the Winter CSA offered up some shallots and garlic. Add a few more pantry lurkers, and you've got an easy, yet somewhat impressive pasta dish.

I love doing a little pantry challenge at the end of the week lately. I find once you get to Thursday or Friday you're wondering what's left and want something easy to throw together. If you live in any of the 2100 miles of states affected by awful winter weather this week, you're probably as exhausted and sick of cleaning it up as I am and are looking for something easy, but warming. So go and check your pantry, and get to work.

Lemon and Artichoke Pasta
Serves: 4

1/2 pound of thick spaghetti pasta
2 shallots, chopped
1 - 15oz. can of artichoke hearts (about 6 large)
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 teaspoons + 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon capers
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

First, let's bread the artichokes. Take three bowls (pie dishes, whatever) and put your flour in one, your egg in another and your panko in yet another. Drain and rinse your artichokes, then dip each first in flour, then in the egg and then in the panko, making sure the artichoke heart gets covered in each. Put them on a plate and set aside.

Now, get your pasta going. Cook according to directions, drain, and set aside when done.

While your pasta is cooking, take two teaspoons olive oil and dump them in a large skillet with sides. Heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Now, throw your breaded artichokes in there, turning them to make sure all sides get golden. Transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Now, in that same skillet (you probably have some nice browned pieces of breadcrumb left in there, leave it), heat the 1/3 cup olive oil over medium heat. Once shimmering again, add your shallots and cook 3-4 minutes until tender. Now, add your garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Please, do not burn the garlic. Next, add your lemon juice and capers to the pan. Finally, toss some salt and pepper in there, stir to combine, then add your pasta in, toss to coat.

Finally, place the fried artichoke on top of the pasta and sprinkle entire dish with your grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with additional parm if you'd like.

North Shore Bloggers Consortium Picks of the Weekend 2/4 - 2/6

Friday 2/4 (and all weekend long)

Lowell Winterfest 
7PM - 9PM — North Bowl Soup CompetitionSixteen of the area’s finest chefs, restaurants and caterers compete for two top prizes: People’s Choice and the Juried Prize. ($5 Admission) Location: Masonic Temple, 79 Dutton Street

Now I'm sucked into the Winterfest over their soup competition. However, they have some awesome family fun events all weekend long. From yummy food, to snowmen competitions to music - it's a chance to get out and enjoy all that snow we have out there. The full event schedule is here

Saturday 2/5

Bob Marley Reggae Birthday Celebration, featuring Hot Like Fire
Blue Ocean Music Hall
4 Oceanfront North
Salisbury, MA 01952

Saturday, February 5, 8pm
Cost: $15 GA

Sick of the snow? Need to get away to the islands but can't "get away"? Pick up the Reggae vibe over at Salisbury's Blue Ocean Music Hall and get out of the snow-covered nuttiness we've been part of as of late.

Sunday 2/6
Seacoast Slow Food Potluck "Fast Food:

Sun, February 6, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
WhereStoodley’s Tavern, 17 Hancock Street, Portsmouth
Slow Food Seacoast invites you to attend the next community “Sunday Dinner” of the new year on Sunday, February 6, at 5:30 pm in Portsmouth. The theme, Not Fast Food!, challenges attendees to rework a common fast food dish the “slow” way, with good, clean, and fair food.

SPEAKER: Sriram Madhusoodaman of Corporate Accountability International will introduce us to the Value [the] Meal campaign, which seeks to “hold the fast food industry accountable for a range of abuses that are making our children sick” and call on “industry leader McDonald’s to put our kids’ health before short-term financial windfalls.” An integral part of this program is Retire Ronald.

 Check out what the rest of the North Shore Bloggers Consortium has to offer this weekend: 

Media giant Seth gives up the best of Lynn at Lynn Happens.

The wonderful Jane Ward has some great ideas, over at Food and Fiction.

North Shore Kid: Weekend Picks

Choices from all over New England at The Two Palaverers.

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Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I don't normally use a lot of artichokes in my cooking (except dips) but breaded and flavored with lemon and parmesan?! I can practically smell this cooking it sounds so good.

Elizabeth said...

I don't think I've ever had lemon artichoke pasta, but I know I would love it. I love a simple addition of lemon and cheese on thin spaghetti

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I don't normally use a lot of artichokes in my cooking (except dips) but breaded and flavored with lemon and parmesan?! I can practically smell this cooking it sounds so good.