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Fun With Marinated Artichokes

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Fun With Marinated Artichokes

Will Owen | Jul 20, 2014 12:31 PM

Maybe four months ago, maybe more, I took home from Trader Joe's a jar of their artichokes, a little mesh bag of shallots, a plastic box of cherry tomatoes and a pound of their now-discontinued (boo hiss) High-Fiber Spaghetti. I cooked and drained about half the spaghetti, in the meantime mincing a large shallot and cooking it with olive oil in a four-quart round-bottomed nonstick pot (dirt cheap from an Asian market), then quartering about half the tomatoes and throwing them in, and draining the artichokes – save the juice! – and cutting them into slightly smaller chunks, checking for and removing any papery outer leaves. When the tomatoes had all collapsed I added the artichokes and stirred it a bit, then the spaghetti and the marinade. That got all tossed together with some grated pecorino and then devoured by us and a dinner guest, and we've repeated it several times since, though with just plain spaghetti since I still can't face the brown stuff.

Then a week or so ago I happened to glimpse on a muted TV a cooking demo, wherein the host was stirring tortellini in a pan with what looked an awful lot like my artichoke-tomato. "By golly, that should work!" I thought, and by golly it did. I just had to put a 10 oz package of the fresh cheese tortellini – pesto works too – into the pan when the tomatoes' juices and the marinade were heading towards a boil, and stir it with a silicone paddle or wooden spoon until the tortellini were tender. That was even faster and easier, done in about the time it took me to hunt-and-peck this on the keyboard, and we loved that too.

I think the next step might be incorporating these ingredients into a baked mac'n'cheese …

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