Penne with Artichokes and Pancetta

Chef Christophe VessaireThe Grapevine CaféAtlanta, Georgia

Serves 4

6 young, small artichokes

⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ pound pancetta, finely julienned

1 pound penne

3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Clean the artichokes, slice lengthwise into halves, quarters, or even smaller depending on size. (To clean artichokes, see Chapter 7.)

In a saucepan, heat ⅓ cup of the oil over low heat. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining ⅓ cup oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and pancetta and sauté until the pancetta is browned.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring at least 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta, stir to separate, and cook until not quite al dente. Drain.

Transfer the pasta to the skillet holding the pancetta. Add the artichokes, salt, and pepper, cover, and cook for 2 more minutes over medium heat, stirring once or twice. Pour into a warm serving bowl and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

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