Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fettuccine with Red Pepper, Artichokes and Chickpeas

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the artichoke. It is such a beautiful vegetable, all rough and armored on the outside, but once you get down to its flesh, it's decadent and richly flavored. Kinda like me. OH SNAP! *Putting my finger against my ass and making a sizzle noise* I find its mysteriousness, its need to protect itself from the outside world with its thick armor, to be lovely and poetic. What I don't so much like is biting into a nice big chunk of it to find myself chewing for 20 minutes on an untender and sort of woody layer of it that seems virtually unchewable, chewingandchewingandchewinganddebatingspittingoutbut
realizingthatwouldbekindarudeinthemiddleofdinner. I could understand if it was *me* who was prepping and peeling the artichoke myself, since I'd almost certainly f- it up. But when I've bought canned artichokes, I expect a bit more perfection. So what's the deal, I ask (rhetorically, so please do not answer, unless your name is Canned Artichoke)?

Regardless, despite the fact that I ran into a couple instances of the aforementioned eternally chewy artichokes while dining on this pasta, it was a fricking *awesome* recipe (and perfect for the change towards this autumn weather we've been having). It is amazingly flavorful with quite the full and flowery red-peppery kick to it. It's relatively simple (which is always a plus for me). And it will impress guests, no doubt. I highly recommend. CHECK IT!

PS. Is it just me, or does the VT really need to start getting a bit more creative with their recipe-titles and not just listing out all the ingredients as a title?

  • 1/2 c. whole almonds

  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds

  • 1 14-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed (about 1 cup), or 4 roasted red peppers, skinned and seeded

  • 2 T. olive oil*

  • 1-3 T. water*

  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar*

  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 t. cayenne

  • 1 lb. fettuccine

  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 9-oz. jar water-packed artichoke hearts, quartered (about 8 hearts)

  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley


Toast almonds in skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring often. Toast sesame seeds 1 minute, or until golden. Cool.

Cut peppers into thin strips. Blend 1/2 cup pepper strips with almonds, oil, vinegar, lemon juice and cayenne in food processor. Add sesame seeds, and pulse to combine. Add 1-3 T. water to thin out just a bit (thicker is okay--once you mix everything together, it'll spread nicely despite it perhaps looking too thick to do so).

Cook pasta according to package directions. Add red pepper mixture, chickpeas, artichokes, parsley and remaining red pepper strips. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Serves 6.

*Represent changes from the original recipe

(Original recipe from the Vegetarian Times)

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