Young vegetables at the farmer’s market plus the artichokes in our garden inspired this week’s meatless Monday recipe. Artichokes are in season right now, and though ours are on the small side, the hearts are tender and tasty. When you cut them from the plant, leave a few inches of the stem, which is tender and flavorful, though a little bitter. We steam them until just tender, and I keep them on hand, already cooked, to add to salads, frittatas and pasta.
These are not the large globe artichokes available at the markets, with their meaty leaves. These have just a little meat in the leaves. We separate the leaves from the base, remove the choke, then slice up the hearts and stems. If you don’t have fresh artichokes, use jarred or canned artichokes, which work beautifully in this recipe as well.
Spring is a great time to find true baby carrots at the market, tiny bunches with leaves still attached. Don’t buy the bagged baby carrots, which are really large carrots that have been whittled into a small shape. Or use small, multi-colored carrots, as we've used here. Spring is also prime time for snow and sugar snap peas, and asparagus. Other spring vegetables will work in this recipe too—baby zucchini, or cooked, peeled fresh fava beans. Other pasta shapes will work here, such as penne or a curvy pasta to hold the buttery sauce. Farfalle means "butterfly" in Italian, so what better pasta shape for a primavera?
3 Tbs. butter, ghee or olive oil
1 lg. shallot, thinly sliced
5 oz. small or baby carrots, cut into thin, 2” long batons
8 oz. snow or sugar snap peas, cut in half lengthwise
8 oz. asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 2” lengths
1 c. quartered artichoke hearts (can use marinated, jarred, or artichokes canned in water, or fresh, see note)
½ c. chicken or vegetable broth
12 oz. pasta (we used Jovial’s brown rice farfalle)
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese (for vegan, use Follow Your Heart’s grated Parmesan-style shredded cheese alternative)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions while you are cooking the sauce. Have all your vegetables ready to go first so your timing will be perfecto.
In a large sauté pan, melt butter or ghee. Add shallot and carrots and cook, gently, a few minutes until carrots are al dente, not quite tender. Add snow peas, asparagus, and artichokes, and gently toss in the butter. Add broth, cover and cook 2 or 3 minutes or until veggies are just tender. Uncover and remove from heat.
After pasta is cooked and drained, toss the warm farfalle with the veggie sauce, sprinkle grated cheese over and serve.