I love artichokes. They take a bit of effort because you have to peel all of those outer leaves off which takes some time and leaves your fingers a dark maroon colour. When I can my marinated artichokes in the summer and peel dozens of them, my hands stay dark for days. I actually cut the tip of my thumb off once while cutting artichokes, but I still love to use them. But nasty cuts and stained fingers notwithstanding, this is a recipe you should try.
Artichokes have a taste all their own and are wonderful paired with capers and green olives would work in this recipe too. They are also fantastic with lemon, and you could add some to the recipe below if you like. I added a bit of corn starch at the end because my sauce was too liquid, but I'll leave that decision up to you.
Pasta with Artichokes and Capers
1 tbps lemon juice
2 pounds baby artichokes
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp capers
1 tsp corn starch (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Fill large bowl with cold water and add lemon juice. Trim the end of the stem and cut off the top quarter from 1 artichoke. Remove the dark green outer leaves and snap off at artichoke base until only pale green and yellow leaves remain. Cut artichoke lengthwise in half. Using point of knife or a grapefruit spoon, remove any purple-tipped leaves from center of artichoke. Place artichoke halves in lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
2. Drain artichokes well. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add artichokes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and sauté until artichokes begin to brown slightly, about 6 minutes. Add stock and wine and bring to boil. Reduce heat; add capers, then cover and simmer until artichokes are tender, about 10 minutes.
3. If using, place corn starch in a small bowl and add a bit of water, stirring to make a paste. Add cornstarch to artichokes and stir to prevent lumps. Cook over low heat for about two minutes or until corn starch is cooked.