Thursday, May 08, 2008

Penne with Beer-Stewed Artichoke Hearts

                                     from Christina Cooks

(This ain't the most thrilling of food pics,
but if you bust out your beer goggles to look at it
you'll definitely find it much more attractive.)

Ok. So what could possibly make for a better dinner than a nicely hopped mug o' dark beer accompanied by a nice hearty bowl of pasta? Hmmm. How about a nicely hopped mug o' dark beer IN your nice hearty bowl of pasta?!?


Seriously: how brilliant is this recipe? Artichokes and red onions stewed in your favorite dark beer and served over pasta.

Brilliant, I say. AND it's simple to boot.

The only change I would make with this recipe is to use a larger jar of artichokes (which I just realized is kind of funny because the on-line version of the recipe CALLS for a large jar of artichoke hearts--the cookbook calls for a 8-oz. one--so basically it looks like I'm saying to you, "A large jar of artichokes? NAY! You must use a HUMAN-SIZED JAR OF ARTICHOKES TO MAKE THIS DISH COMPLETE!!!!").

Anyways, I used the recommended size (which, like I said, was an 8-oz. jar in the book), and most of the time I found myself thinking, where the f- are the artichokes? Did the beer eat them? IS GREAT LAKES BEER ARTICHOKE-CANNIBALISTIC BEER? (I'm sure Great Lakes Brewery wouldn't appreciate such claims.) So yeah. Use a big ol' jar of 'em when you make this.

I also couldn't find arugula at the market, if you can believe it. So I used a "spring mix." Worked well. If you can find just straight arugula (instead of the flaming kind--buddummm chiii), then I'd just stick with that.

All in all, this is a fun dish to whip up. It won't blow your mind or give you multiple orgasms or anything. But it's definitely tasty. And, seriously peeps, you get to cook with beer. So even if it tastes like poop covered in poop dipped in poop and then rolled in finely-chopped poop, you get to cook with beer (and you'll be too drunk to notice anyways), so stop complaining.


  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 red onion, thin half moon slices

  • generous pinch red pepper flakes

  • sea salt

  • 1 large jar artichoke hearts (in oil), drained well, oil reserved--think 12-16 oz.

  • 1 bottle dark beer

  • 10 ounces penne

  • 1 small bunch arugula, rinsed well

  • balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2 ripe tomato, diced, do not peel or seed


Place a small amount of oil, garlic and onion in a deep skillet and turn heat to medium. When the onions begin to sizzle, add red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and saute until onions are quite soft and beginning to brown, 5-6 minutes.

Stir in artichoke hearts, a pinch of salt and the beer. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, season lightly with salt and cook for 15 minutes.

While the artichokes cook, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook penne al dente. Drain well, but do not rinse. Toss the penne with a small amount of the reserved artichoke oil.

When the artichokes are ready, finely shred the arugula and add to the skillet. Remove from heat and stir gently to incorporate the arugula into the artichokes. Fold in the penne, with a light sprinkle of balsamic vinegar and transfer to a serving platter.

Serve garnished with diced tomato.

Makes 4-6 servings.

(from the Christina Cooks cookbook, and posted on-line at Christina

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